Over 4 Lakh Young Indians Take Action and Lead Change On Sanitation, Education and Gender In The Largest Youth Social Movement In India

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Mumbai: Over 4 lakh young Indians have signed up and taken action as part of the Global Citizen movement, making it the largest youth movement in India today. Global Citizen India is a social action platform that aims to amplify the voice of youth to push leaders to commit to positive change on Sanitation, Education and Gender issues so India can eradicate extreme poverty by 2030.

More than 1.5 million actions have been taken by the committed global citizens who are engaged in the world, knowledgeable about its diversity and passionate about change and who hail from around India since the movement  was launched in India on September 12. This is the first time that the Global Citizen movement has moved outside of North America. Indians have embraced the movement as a powerful way to amplify their voice as well as to catalyse change.

The Global Citizen Festival India will be held on November 19th at the MMRDA Grounds, Bandra. The festival, a collaboration between The Global Education and Leadership Foundation and Global Citizen, is being hosted in Mumbai by the Government of Maharashtra. It will be the biggest gathering of young people for a social cause that India has seen: more than 70,000 people will attend the Festival in Mumbai on November 19.

Bhavya Bishnoi, Global Citizen India spokesperson, said: “The Global Citizen India movement is uniquely positioned to galvanise our 800 million young people on the issues that matter to us and will affect future generations. Already, over 400,000 youth have taken action on the Global Citizen India platform thereby embodying the call of #ShuruaatHoonMain; this number continues to grow drastically with every Action Journey. As voices amplify, governments, corporates, and NGOs are enthusiastically and generously committing resources to this movement.”

Vidya Balan, Global Citizen India ambassador said: “In 2014, PM Modi went on stage at the Global Citizen Festival in New York and committed to making India Open Defecation Free by 2019. His commitment is a step in the right direction. India has a long way to go on the journey to achieve clean water, sanitation and hygiene for all but we can surely play a part in that journey by doing our bit, by taking action for positive change.”

VK Madhavan, Chief Executive, Water Aid India said “The lack of adequate urban sanitation is a key challenge for India in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals’ target of universal access to water and sanitation for everyone, everywhere by 2030. The impetus provided by the Swachh Bharat Mission in achieving an open defecation free India by 2019 is timely especially for towns and cities with burgeoning population. It would be prudent to remember though that mere construction of toilets alone will not help our cities become truly open defecation free. We need to collectively work towards ensuring that the toilets that are constructed are used, maintained and most importantly, all waste is safely collected, treated and disposed. For enduring success of this massive effort, we need to keep sight of the entire sanitation value chain.

Trisha Shetty, Founder & CEO of SheSays , an NGO championing for women’s rights and gender equality in India, said: “It is our responsibility as Global Citizens to create a world where women have guaranteed access to sanitary products without discrimination. We are partnering with Global Citizen India to petition for Sanitary Napkins to be available tax free across India. We believe in the change young people can drive, our partnership with Global Citizen India amplifies awareness on this issue and drives scope for mass impact of our message that biology should not be a barrier to equality.