Skip to main content

Western India NGOs seek to "nationalise" sustainable development goals, being finalized at United Nations

By Our Representative
A fortnight after the UN drafting committee deliberated on the final draft of the revised Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030 after taking suggestions from all the stakeholders, including an Indian civil society network led by Wada Na Todo Abhiyan and Oxfam India (click HERE), several of the country’s well-known NGOs met in Ahmedabad to deliberate on the type of institutions needed to achieve SDGs. The effort allegedly was to "nationalize SDGs" in western India.
Among those who sponsored the meet Beyond Copenhagen, Cecocdecon, FPA India, IPPF, Landesa, Pairvi, Third World Network, Vaagdhara, Vikalp, and Wocan. Paryavaran Mitra, Ahmedabad, coordinated the deliberations, which continued for two days. The UN drafting committee met in New York on June 22-25 to finalize the SDG draft, and by its new goals are likely to be a final word at the UN General Assembly at its September meet. The topic of the deliberations was "Nationalizing the Sustainable Development Goals: Economic, Social and Environmental Sustainability in Western India", and the discussions were about how to do it in Gujarat, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.
Talking with newspersons soon after the two-day discussions, Pairvi’s Ajay Jha said, “We tried to find out ways to ensure how to implement the SDGs at the grassroots level through our collective effort. While implementing the SDGs, we will not be guided by the limited view of poverty, which is income based. We believe that poverty definition should take into account social backwardness, environmental issues, and democratic freedoms.” He thought, all this would provide them a "national" character.
Paryavaran Mitra’s Mahesh Pandya said, the main effort would be to ensure that people are empowered to ensure implementation of SDGs. “Unless people are made aware about the SDGs, the government in power will not be implementing it. There is a need for sustained advocacy both at the grassroots level and the government and politicians and local self-governing institutions. In fact, a legal framework would need to be created for implementing SDGs.”
Mina Bilgi of Wocan, a women’s advocacy network, said, special focus would need to be placed on women’s empowerment. “It is by now proved that 70 per cent those who work in the farm sector are women. Yet, they have no say in what they produce, not provided with any access to market, have no say on land on which they work. There is talk of gender budgeting, but nobody cares to finance women”, she said.
A statement issued by the organizers expressed “compelling concerns related to sustainability” adding, “We have failed to address it adequately.” It emphasized that “the development paradigm has been lopsided in favour of economic growth to the large exclusion of social and ecological aspects.”
Talking about the need to finance sustainable development, it insists on the need to get rid of the “ecologically damaging growth path”. It adds, “While it is important for India and other developing and poor countries to raise issues of justice, equity and resources in the global debate without which sustainable development cannot be achieved; it is also equally compelling to address sustainability nationally.”

Industry intervention

Meanwhile, in a related development, the industry in Gujarat is reported to be successful in having a say in the deliberations on sustainable development. A meet organized on sustainable development by well-known NGO Vikalp, Ahmedabad, saw the state's premier industrial house, Adanis, Gujarat government agency Gujarat Pollution Control Board, the state's environmental group Paryavaran Mitra and the Southern Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry discussed the issue. 
The meet, which took place on June 20 at Surat, particularly focused on the role of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in sustainable development. No details of the meeting, however, have been made public so far. 

Comments

TRENDING

India under Modi among top 10 autocratizing nations, on verge of 'losing' democracy status

By Rajiv Shah
A new report, prepared by a top Swedish institute studying liberal democracy, has observed that there has been a sharp “dive in press freedom along with increasing repression of civil society in India associated with the current Hindu-nationalist regime of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.” The report places India among the top 10 countries that “have autocratized the most”. Other countries that have been identified for rolling towards autocracy are -- Hungary, Turkey, Poland, Serbia, Brazil, Mali, Thailand, Nicaragua and Zambia.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam*
RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Gujarat link of controversial US doctor who 'forced' WHO quiz Trump's wonder drug

By Rajiv Shah
A top American doctor, Sapan Sharankishor Desai, born and raised in the “affluent” North Shore (Chicago) region of Illinois by Indian parents, at one point of time involved in NGO activity through  dedicated to “improving” the lives of the impoverished in Gujarat, is in the eyes of a major international storm following his paper (retracted) in a “Lancet” questioning Donald Trump-promoted drug hydroxychloroquine.

Border conflict? RBI nod India's 'brotherly' help to China internationalise its currency

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*
In the middle of a global pandemic, China started an unprovoked border conflict with India. It unraveled trust deficit and ties between the two neighbours. As thousands of Chinese troops tried occupying Indian territory, the Narendra Modi-led BJP government directs the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to allow the Bank of China to start regular banking services in India. The Bank of China will now operate in India like any other commercial banks.

RSS supremo Deoras 'supported' Emergency, but Indira, Sanjay Gandhi 'didn't respond'

By Shamsul Islam*
National Emergency was imposed on the country by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on June 25-26, 1975, and it lasted for 19 months. This period is considered as ''dark times' for Indian democratic polity. Indira Gandhi claimed that due to Jaiprakash Narayan's call to the armed forces to disobey the 'illegal' orders of Congress rulers had created a situation of anarchy and there was danger to the existence of Indian Republic so there was no alternative but to impose Emergency under article 352 of the Constitution.

Clean chit to British rulers, Muslim League? Karnataka to have Veer Savarkar flyovers

By Shamsul Islam*
The BJP government of Karnataka led by BS Yediyurappa is going to honour Hindutva icon VD Savarkar by naming two of the newly built major flyovers in Bangalore and Mangalore after him. There was a huge uproar against this decision of the RSS-BJP government as many pro-Kannada organisations with opposition parties and liberal-secular organizations questioned the logic to ignore so many freedom fighters, social reformers and others from within the state.

Hurried nod to Western Ghat projects: 16 lakh Goans' water security 'jeopardised'

Counterview Desk
Taking strong exception to "virtual clearances" to eco-sensitive projects in the Western Ghats, the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) in a statement has said urged for a review of the four-lane highway, 400 KV transmission line and double tracking of the railway line through the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary and Mollem National Park in Goa.

Disturbing signal? Reliance 'shifting focus' away from Indian petrochemical sector

By NS Venkataraman*
Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), a large Indian company, has expanded and grown in a spectacular manner during the last few decades, like of which no industrial group in India has performed before. RIL is now involved in multi various activities relating to petroleum refineries, petrochemicals, oil and gas exploration, coal bed methane, life sciences, retail business, communication network, (Jio platform) media/entertainment etc.

Case for nationalising India's healthcare system amidst 'strong' private control

Counterview Desk
A draft discussion note, prepared by Dr Maya Valecha, a Gujarat-based gynecologist and activist, sent to the People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) as also a large number of activists, academics and professionals as an email alert, is all set to create a flutter among policy experts for its strong insistence on nationalizing India’s healthcare system.