New Delhi: The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), ranging from ending poverty, accessing clean water and sanitation, and fixing climate change, can be achieved if individual efforts are counted in, said actor, producer, eco-investor, and UN Secretary-General’s Advocate for Sustainable Development Goals, Dia Mirza. During the convening of policymakers and leaders from around the world at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA)-SDG Summit in New York, Ms Mirza said,
The SDGs have to become personal to each of us. Individuals have the extraordinary power to fulfil the promise of a healthy, progressive, and peaceful world for everyone, everywhere.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are called the people’s goals, she said. Ms Mirza emphasised the need for governments and policymakers to engage with citizens, listen to them, and mobilise them into action. Understanding what people know and think about the SDGs is a crucial starting point, she conveyed at the high-level meeting.
She said that interventions are needed at the policy level, but individual efforts will make the difference.
We need big shifts at the policy level, but we also need individual initiatives to combat climate change because environmental anomalies disproportionately affect the most vulnerable amongst us, including women and children.
Earlier, at the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA 77) in New York in September 2022, Ms Mirza had discussed how India could contribute to achieving the SDGs by highlighting the Mission LiFE Campaign (lifestyle for the environment) that the country announced at the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow (COP26) last October.
The Campaign is centred around bringing individual behaviours at the forefront of the global climate action narrative and replacing the prevalent ‘use-and-dispose’ economy, governed by mindless and destructive consumption, with a circular economy, which would be defined by mindful and deliberate utilisation.
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – theLGBTQ population,indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the currentCOVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water,SanitationandHygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fightmalnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health,adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues likeair pollution,waste management,plastic ban,manual scavengingand sanitation workers andmenstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India wheretoiletsare used andopen defecation free (ODF)status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched byPrime Minister Narendra Modiin 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.