Wednesday, August 31, 2016

UNICEF-GIWA at laddakh on the Sindhu River for Sanitation

2016-08-31-PHOTO-00000298 


GIWA-UNICEF LADAKH SUMMIT (Day 2)

August 30, 2016, Leh-Ladakh: The second day of the historic Global Interfaith WASH Alliance (GIWA) Summit in Ladakh that was organised with technical support from UNICEF, brought together leaders of different religions part of GIWA India, the Hon’ble Science and Technology Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan, as well as over 300 people includingBuddhist scholars, religious organisations, students and local community members.

A special interfaith Peace Garden was inaugurated at the Mahabodhi International Meditation Centre and the foundation of an a bio-toilet was shared. The bio-toilet will be built near the centre’s Meditation Hall, which previously lacked sanitation facilities. The Faith leaders also participated in a historic walk-for-WASH, wherein leaders walked to major places of worship around the town of Leh, including the Moravian Church, Ladakh Buddhist Association Monastery, Dantan Sahib Gurudwara, Masjid Sharif, Imam Bara, Krishna Temple, where they met and interacted with local faith leaders and community members. The walk illustrated the commitment of GIWA’s faith leaders to bring about a sanitation revolution in India by engaging and inspiring people. Local Ladakhis came out on the streets to join the movement in a demonstration of solidarity for WASH.

The Summit concluded with a historic pledge and water blessing ceremony on the banks of the Sindhu River, at the Sindhu Darshan Ghat, in Leh-Ladakh. Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Hon’ble Union Minister for Science & Technology, Mr Tsering Dorjay, Hon’ble Minister of State of Cooperative and Minister of State, Ladakh Affairs along with the 25 faith leaders and UNICEF representatives participated in a Water Blessing Ceremony. All dignitaries gathered together to offer the water of the river onto the globe as a symbol and a prayer that all of humanity should have access to safe and sufficient water, sanitation and hygiene. Faith leaders along with dignitaries joined hands to reiterate the Sankalp (commitment) for sanitation.
On the occasion, the Hon’ble Minister, Dr. Harshvardhan said, “It is so wonderful to see such commitment of our interfaith leaders of the Global Interfaith WASH Alliance take this message of Swachhta to every street corner, every place of worship, reaching out to as many communities
and in as many ways as possible in the two days.” He also lauded UNICEF, the corporate and media stakeholders who had joined in the two day summit for their commitment and dedication.
One of the GIWA leaders, Ven Bhikkhu Sanghasena added that the Summit has put a spotlight on the more critical issues ailing Ladakh, and the awareness generated through the GIWA platform moving forward would be catalytic. “This coming together of political leaders and religious leaders, speaking in one voice, for the cause of Swachhta, is unprecedented.”
Co-founder of GIWA, Swami Chidanand Saraswati in his concluding speech said, “At the beginning of this journey we had asked ourselves why WASH? Over the past two days of deliberation, its importance has been understood by all. Today, in Ladakh, we take a pledge of ‘Ekta‘ or oneness – without boundaries of caste, creed and religion – that we will all work together to ensure the problems related to sanitation in Ladakh and the country are solved. That is our mission, message and take away from this momentous gathering.”
The GIWA India, in association with UNICEF India, held a two-day Summit in Ladakh, entitled the ‘Worship for WASH’. The Ladakh Summit initiates a dialogue on critical issues of WASH, specifically in the Ladakh region. The Summit discussed the inter-linkage of multiple issues of inequity, lack of access and other related issues in the region, with special focus on minority populations.

Please find a list of some of the prominent leaders present at the event:
  1. Hon’ble Union Minister of Science and Technology Dr. Harsh Vardhanji
  2. Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji, Co-Founder, Global Interfaith
WASH Alliance, President, ParmarthNiketan (Rishikesh)
  1. Sant Giani Gurubachan Singhji, Chief Jathedar of Akal Takht (The
Golden Temple)
  1. Maulana Kalbe Sadiq Sahebji, Founder of TauheedulMuslimeen Trust,
Islamic scholar (Shia Leader)
  1. Maulana Imam Luqman Tarapuriji, Global Imam Council, India (Sunni Leader)
  2. Bhaisahib Satpal Singh Khalsaji, Ambassador of Sikh Dharma (Religion)
  3. Pujya Mahamandeleshwar Swami Harichetanandji, Haridwar
  4. Mushahid Khan, Chairman and Founder of International Islamic Sufi Foundation
  5. Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswatiji, Secretary- General, Global Interfaith
WASH Alliance, President, Divine Shakti Foundation
  1. Dr HR Nagendraji, Vice Chancellor VYASA
  2. Ven Bhikkhu Sanghasenaji, Founder-President Mahabodhi
International Meditation Centre
  1. Shri Paramjit Singh Chandhokji, Chairman of DSGMC
  2. Swamini Adityananda Saraswatiji, Director of Programmes,
Partnerships & Policy, Global Interfaith WASH Alliance
  1. Dr Binny Sareenji, Brahmakumaris, Mt Abu
  2. Swami Jayantji, Art of Living, Bangalore
  3. Shri Tsering Dorjay, Hon’ble Minister of State of Cooperative and
MoS Ladakh Affairs
  1. Manish Wasuja, WASH Specialist, UNICEF- India
  2. Sheikh Saif-ud Din, President of Maoin-ul Islam
  3. Shri Ashraf Ali, President of Anjuman Immammia
  4. Shri Nawang Rigzen Jora, MLA
  5. Murup Dolma, President of Ladakhi Women’s Alliance
  6. and many other interfaith leaders, members of UNICEF, corporate heads and many other  international and national NGOs, business leaders and prominent media personalities

About UNICEF:
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do.  Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children visit www.unicef.org . Follow UNICEF on Twitter andFacebook
About the Global Interfaith WASH Alliance (GIWA): With its Secretariat in Rishikesh, the Global Interfaith WASH Alliance (GIWA) was launched in collaboration with UNICEF at UNICEF World Headquarters under the sponsorship of USAID and the Government of the Netherlands. It is the world’s first initiative that is engaging the planet’s many faiths as allies to create a world where everyone, everywhere has access to healthy, sustainable Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH).  To learn more, visit www.washalliance.org. Follow GIWA on Twitter and Facebook
About the Global Interfaith WASH Alliance (GIWA): With its Secretariat in Rishikesh, the Global Interfaith WASH Alliance (GIWA) was launched in collaboration with UNICEF at UNICEF World Headquarters under the sponsorship of USAID and the Government of the Netherlands. It is the world’s first initiative that is engaging the planet’s many faiths as allies to create a world where everyone, everywhere has access to healthy, sustainable Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH).  To learn more, visit www.washalliance.org. Follow GIWA on Twitter and Facebook
For more information about this press release, please contact:

UNICEF:

Geetanjali Master
Communication Specialist UNICEF India
Email: gmaster@unicef.org | Phone: 9818105861

Sonia Sarkar, Communication Officer, UNICEF India
Email: ssarkar@unicef.org | Phone: 9810170289

GIWA:
Nandini Tripathi, Global Interfaith WASH Alliance, Mobile +91-7579029225, email: ganga@washalliance.org

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