In India, across the world, people stand up for a cause

October 22nd, 2008 - 7:59 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Oct 22 (IANS) More than 700 villagers of Badarpur Khadar village near Delhi joined millions across the world to stand up for a global cause urging governments across the world to meet the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015.With no electricity, clean drinking water, sanitation or other health facilities, the villagers participated in the campaign with vigour as they opened the village’s first school in its 300-year history Oct 18.

“As compared to other places, there is nothing much in our village. But I am happy that we have a school now. I go to the school and hope that someday my village will be as developed as the city,” said seven-year-old Irfana, a resident of the village.

More than 116 million people, which includes 14 million in India alone, in a gesture to tell various countries’ governments that the MDGs have to be met by 2015 and that extreme poverty has to be ended, participated in the ‘Stand up, Take Action’ campaign against poverty making into the Guinness Book of World Records.

“Over three days time, from Oct 17-19, two percent of the world population, which includes 14 million in India took part in the Stand up, Take Action campaign to urge governments to meet the MDGs by 2015. A record recognised by the Guinness Book of World Records,” Minar Pimple, deputy director Asia, United Nations Millennium Campaign, said at a conference in the capital Wednesday.

In 2000, leaders of 189 countries signed the UN’s Millenium Declaration agreeing to do everything in their power to end poverty. They pledged to do this by achieving the MDGs, a roadmap to end extreme poverty by 2015. The Stand up campaign is a reminder to the world leaders about the same.

Among the eight MDGs are eradication of poverty and hunger, achievemnt of universal primary education, promotion of gender equality, reduction of child mortality, improvement of maternal health, combatting HIV/Malaria and other diseases, ensuring environmental sustainability and developing a global partnership for development.

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