The importance of HPV vaccine
I am writing to underscore the critical importance of extending the HPV vaccine to all age groups in our country as a pivotal measure to reduce the risk of cervical cancer. While the recent focus has been on vaccinating girls aged 9 to 14, it is imperative to recognize that cervical cancer poses a significant threat to women across all age groups in India. The HPV vaccine has demonstrated remarkable efficacy in preventing cervical cancer, with studies confirming its ability to significantly reduce the incidence of this devastating disease. For instance, a large-scale study in Sweden revealed that the widespread use of the HPV vaccine led to a substantial decrease in the occurrence of cervical cancer, particularly among girls vaccinated before the age of 17, with a nearly 90% reduction in cervical cancer incidence during the study period. These findings underscore the potential of the HPV vaccine to safeguard women of all ages from the perils of cervical cancer. India, being a country with a high burden of cervical cancer, would greatly benefit from the inclusion of all age groups in the HPV vaccination program. The lack of a nationwide screening programme for HPV and the high mortality rate from cervical cancer further emphasize the urgency of extending the HPV vaccine to women beyond the 9–14 age group. By doing so, we can make significant strides in reducing the burden of cervical cancer and protecting the health and well-being of women across the nation. In conclusion, the evidence is unequivocal: the HPV vaccine is a potent tool in the fight against cervical cancer. I urge the authorities to consider the broader impact of the HPV vaccine and take proactive steps to include all age groups in the national immunization program. By ensuring comprehensive and equitable access to the HPV vaccine for women of all ages, India can make substantial progress in reducing the burden of cervical cancer and saving lives.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi asserted in a speech at the Bharat Mobility Global Expo 2024 that India is rapidly advancing and is poised to become the world's third-largest economy during the "third term" of his government. If India becomes the 3rd largest economy, individual Indian income will become almost double of today's income, or no Indians will be below the poverty line. If it really comes true, then it is a good prediction for all-round progress in our country.
Advani deserves Bharat Ratna
Veteran BJP leader LK Advani highly deserves the Bharat Ratna. An outstanding parliamentarian and an astute politician, his contribution to public life and administration has been exemplary. When none thought the BJP could ever bag more than a handful of seats in the Lok Sabha elections, it was Advani's charisma, perseverance and homework that ensured the party steadily rose to a position of strength in the lower house. Of course, Advani's ‘rathyatra’ was a watershed moment for the BJP that helped the party to wrest power at the Centre. The nonagenarian spent precious years building the BJP from scratch. But for Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Advani, the BJP would never have grown into a cadre-based party that could win elections on its own.
Advani might have failed to lead the NDA to victory in 2009, but the man's ability to hold the flock together against adversities, and his exceptional organizational skills, are indisputable. The former deputy prime minister commands respect throughout the party hierarchy which values the leader's immense contribution to the party. Till not long ago, Advani was the only leader after Vajpayee who had a distinct mass appeal, and could draw a large crowd. Though his comments on Jinnah and soft stance on other issues irked the RSS, the seasoned leader never compromised on his stand for pleasing certain sections. Having moved into political oblivion, forced or otherwise, Advani is never seen amongst the party workers but the latter must be missing his calming presence.
Dr Ganapathi Bhat