Faith leaders, including those from India, have come together to pledge help in the implementation of the United Nations sustainable development agenda.
The idea behind roping in the faith leaders is the fact that over 83% of the world’s population practises a faith, placing faith-based organisations and their leaders in a unique position to ensure dynamic change on the ground.
There are 783 million people around the world who do not have access to clean water and almost 2.5 billion do not have access to sanitation — without them in the fold, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) cannot be achieved.
Swami Chidanand Saraswati, co-chair, Global Interfaith alliance, said, “The United Nations and faith-based organisations are joining forces as never before to root out and eliminate forever the causes of the deaths of countless children due to poor water, sanitation and hygiene.” He is also the president and spiritual head of the Parmarth Niketan Ashram in Rishikesh.
Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati, secretary general, Global Interfaith alliance, said, “Through our declaration, hands and hearts have formally united across faiths and borders to help ensure the SDGs are realised through a vision of a future in which our water is clean and our environment and lives are healthy.”
The declaration was signed at a round-table meeting that had the imperative of developing partnerships between United Nations agencies with faith-based organisations to help realise a sustainable WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) -related agenda.