First G20 Health Working Group meeting opens in Thiruvananthapuram

by IANS |

Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 18 (IANS) Union Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan on Wednesday delivered the keynote address at the first G20 Health Working Group meeting here.

In his address, he said the G20 theme is based on universal brotherhood or 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam'.

"It reminds us to see the world as a family in working towards a healthier tomorrow. It is in the interest of human kind that we should be prepared for any health emergency in the future," said Muraleedharan.

The Union Minister said that 3,000 years ago, a great poet of India, Kaniyan Poongundranar wrote in Tamil, "Yaadhum Oore Yaavarum Kaelir.."

"It means 'we belong to all places, and everyone'. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that adding this sense of belonging beyond borders was unique to India."

Delving into history, he pointed out that even before Independence, Kerala had a strong public health tradition.

"In 1813, a vaccination department was established here in Thiruvananthapuram by the Travancore queen Rani Gowri Lakshmi Bayi. It was against smallpox. As people showed signs of fear against vaccination, the queen set an example by getting all members of the royal family vaccinated first, to reassure her subjects," added Muraleedharan.

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