Government on Friday got a rare compliment from the opposition when Sushma Swaraj appreciated it in Lok Sabha for eradicating polio from the country.

The appreciation by the Leader of the Opposition came during Question Hour when Health and Family Welfare Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad was replying to queries.

“We appreciate the government for making India free from polio,” Ms. Swaraj said.

Last month, India said it was free from cases of polio for the third straight year.

The Question Hour, which functioned normally for the first time in the extended Winter Session ending on Friday, also saw lighter moments.

As her mike was not working when she wanted to speak, Ms. Swaraj in a lighter vein said the mike should not be switched off when she is praising the government.

Mr. Azad also said many programmes have been taken up to address health issues.

“By 2015, we will succeed in reducing child mortality rate in the country... It will be a great step for India,” he said.

According to him, there should be a co-ordination mechanism for various programmes aimed at tackling malnutrition.

Such programmes are being implemented by the Health, Human Resource Development as well as Women and Child Development Ministries, among others.

BJP member Syed Shahnawaz Hussain said efforts should be made to make the country free from malnutrition problems.

Besides, the Ministry has started programmes in radio and Doordarshan channels for creating awareness about health issues.

Noting that health is a state subject, Mr. Azad said the government has initiated many programmes and has also released funds to states to improve the health sector.

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