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Key challenges for new govt

The Congress-led UPA government has come back, to its own surprise, with stronger numbers and a less unwieldy coalition than in its earlier term. Clearly its focus - real and apparent - on the poor and their development challenges has yielded rich dividends to the party. However, and in all honesty, the new UPA government must face up to the delays and shortcomings in delivering on some of their most touted development programmes. Some such programmes that must get priority attention are those that have the most obvious linkages across the living environment of the poor and their health. Nearly 24% of the health impacts in India are caused due to pitiable living conditions and the vulnerability of the poor and women and children to environmental stresses must be recognized and addressed.

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