Leaders at Global Citizens fest make Rs 40,500 crore worth commitments

New Delhi, Nov 21 (IANS) Leaders at the Global Citizen Festival India, held in Mumbai on Saturday, have made announcements and commitments towards ending extreme poverty in India and helping people in many other ways, with a collective value of $5.93 billion or Rs 40,500 crore, Global Citizens said in a statement.

It said the 25 commitments and announcements from policymakers are set to affect more than 50 crore people.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has made commitments to the value of Rs 17,142 crore to build homes, provide special nutrition programmes and build toilets, set to affect 194 lakh people in Maharashtra, the statement said.

The Central Government has committed to 300,000 villages, 200 districts and six states and two Union Territories being Open Defecation Free by November 19, 2017, affecting the lives of 120 million people.

The International Finance Corporation has committed $2 billion towards banking on women and promoting women entrepreneurship by end 2019, including a $100 million investment in India.

HP has committed to $3.6 million to provide 48 mobile classrooms, which will help 15 million people in rural areas of India get access to quality education and technology over six years.

Ratan Tata has committed to an Rs 300 crore investment from Tata Trusts over the next two years for water and sanitation programmes.

The Toilet Board Coalition has committed to help 130 million people gain improved access to sanitation and hygiene by 2020 with an investment of $15 million.

Hindustan Unilever has committed to reaching one in seven Indians by 2020 with initiatives to improve water, sanitation and hygiene.

The Telangana government has committed to invest Rs 9,000 crore in Mission Bhageerath, which will affect the lives of 9.6 million people, while IDFC Bank has committed to provide 200,000 micro finance loans for water and sanitation, worth Rs200 crore, to reach 450,000 people by the end of 2019, the statement said.

On Saturday November 19, the Global Citizen Festival India was held for the first time at the MMRDA Grounds, Bandra-Kurla Complex, Mumbai. World and business leaders, non-profit organizations, socially conscious artists, and thousands of Global Citizens united to kick-start India’s progress toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Global Citizen Festival India is a celebration of what India is already doing, but it is also a powerful force to mobilize Indian youth and facilitate mass behavioral change as well as a call to action for our leaders to do more to achieve sustainable and more inclusive growth, it said.

In just two months since the launch of the Global Citizen India movement, more than 5 lakh young Global Citizens in India took more than 20 lakh actions calling on political, faith and business leaders, along with celebrities, to be more accountable in their efforts to improve education, gender equality and water, sanitation and hygiene in India.

Global Citizens will continue to campaign to make sure that leaders deliver on these promises.