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Join the millennium campaign against poverty

It was a momentous Wednesday as thousands got together at Parliament Street and pledged to fight poverty, reports Itee Dewan.

delhi Updated: Oct 18, 2007 01:30 IST
Itee Dewan

It was a momentous Wednesday as thousands got together at Parliament Street and pledged to fight poverty.

Spearheaded by the Art of Living foundation in tandem with the United Nations Millennium Campaign (UNMC), the initiative titled 'Stand Up and Speak Out Against Poverty' was part of a global fight against poverty.

As supporters from various schools, colleges, unions and other organisations poured in, supporters enjoyed bhajans, aarti and recitals by Art of Living representatives.

Wearing 'Stand Up and Speak Out' t-shirts, caps and wristbands, supporters from about 20 schools and colleges and various organisations cheered and sang with the Art of Living choir and exhibited perfect team spirit.

"Students from schools like Tagore International, Amity, DAV, DPS and Vishwabharti and employees from corporates like Adobe and Excel, along with members of New Delhi Sports Bar Association and High Court Bar Association, have come together to take a pledge to fight against poverty on the International Day for Poverty Education," said Dr Sanjana Sikri, Coordinator, Art of Living.

Clapping and cheering with the crowd was Bhola Lal, a rickshaw-puller. Oblivious of the reason for his presence, he told us, "I don't know why all of us are here, but I know it is for a good cause." On being informed about the cause, Bhola clapped louder and harder.

Later, all supporters stood up and took a two-minute pledge (in Hindi) to eradicate poverty from the globe by 2015.

Earlier in the day, about 10,000 inmates of Tihar Jail took a similar pledge. By 4 in the evening, around 1,25,000 people from Delhi had already taken the pledge.

Last year, around 23 million people across the globe stood up and spoke out against poverty, setting a Guinness World Record for being the largest ever single coordinated movement.

UNMC is a part of United Nations millennium development goals. It all began in 2000, when 189 countries came together and signed a millennium declaration on eight development goals that they planned to achieve by 2015.

Subsequently, in 2002, the United Nations put in place the United Nations Millennium Campaign, a watchdog that monitors progress of member countries in achieving goals within set time-frames.