" The parliamentarians lost the cricket match."
New Delhi, Dec 20 - The second annual 'Batting for Life' Twenty20 cricket match between MPs and journalists was held Saturday where Health Minister Jagat Prakash Nadda called for making a healthy India along the lines of a clean India.

Emphasising the need for measures to reduce the high infant and child mortality rates in India, Nadda underscored the gravity of the issue and that the central government was seriously concerned about it.

About 20 percent of total child mortality in the world takes place in India. That's why it's a serious concern, he said.

A new strategy was underway to ensure 100 percent immunization coverage for children in order to reduce the mortality rate, Nadda said.

Organised by Global Health Strategies (GHS) in partnership with the Constitution Club of India, the match was dedicated to child health.

It sought to draw attention to the importance of expanding access to available interventions that can protect children against largely preventable diseases like pneumonia and diarrhoea.

According to Unicef, India lost more than 13 lakh children under the age of five last year.

Pneumonia and diarrhoea, the two leading causes of high mortality among children, claimed the lives of more than three lakh children, said a release by the GHS.

It's a privilege to be part of a cricket match with a noble cause. Every Indian child has the right to life as enshrined in our constitution. It's our duty to do whatever we can to ensure they have a healthy beginning, said union minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy.

The parliamentarians lost the cricket match.

'Batting for Life' is an annual cricket match between parliament members and journalists that aims to create awareness about the leading childhood diseases and reinforce every child's right to life and good health.


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