Let’s act on Fluorosis in MP

Incidents of Fluoride found in Groundwater are on an upward spiral!
Fluorosis problem in Madhya Pradesh

Incidents of Fluoride in groundwater sources in Madhya Pradesh are continuously on an upward spiral with news of newer districts getting affected coming each day.

A huge number of skeletal fluorosis cases in the state are also on the rise where people are getting seriously disabled, losing complete or partial bodily mobility. Add to that the problem of poverty that they are dealing with which aggravates their fluorosis situation even further.

With things reaching such a crescendo, there seems to be a good reason now as ever for people to cut across sectors and join hands to own up the fluoride and fluorosis problem in the state.

Keeping this in mind The Fluoride Network thought it was time to start a dialogue among people to see what can be done!

Participants from a variety of sectors; such as; Health, Water and Livelihoods and from a range of organisations; WaterAid, Pradan, People’s Science Institute, Vasudha Vikas Sansthan, CHSJ, Vrutti and World Vision were invited to discuss the issue and think of possible steps.

An overview, through a series of presentations by network members Anil Gautam (PSI), Gayatri Parihar (VVS) and the INREM team came first; where the Fluoride & Fluorosis issue, its cause and effect relationships and its implications on human health were defined.

Different possibilities of association were then put forward to the group through a brief presentation.

This presentation led to an open discussion where participants brainstormed on ideas to take forward the issue in the state. A discussion then also took place on “what roles” respective organisations and entities present could possibly play in the region to deal with the problem

The group unanimously felt that integrating work on fluorosis where different sectors proactively synergized with one another on the issue and then also took steps to act could help the cause immensely.

A need for evidence based advocacy with the government that could have specific pointers to convince the government to have a re-look at its policies related to Public Health, Groundwater, Nutrition, Midday meals, Water supply, “things that have an impact on alleviating the Fluorosis situation” was also felt by the group.

A crucial last part of this meeting was also to find out how local journalists who had been invited for this meeting could be involved in reporting local cases on Fluoride and Fluorosis so that the issue could be brought into public space and those who mattered could be influenced to act!

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