Patna: This week, Patna is seeing a lot of action as part of the historic 350th ‘Prakashotsav’ of the Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh. UNICEF has roped in faith leaders to promote eater and sanitation issue.
“A unique confluence of renowned faith leaders from major religions in India are taking a pledge to work towards the goal of a clean, green and healthy Bihar”, says a press release
A Sarva Dharam, Swachchta Evam Sadbhavna Summit is being organised by the Global Interfaith WASH Alliance (GIWA), with technical support from UNICEF. What’s that? In plain language, it’s an inter-religious cleanliness and amity conference.
What’s WASH? WASH (also spelled WaSH) stands for “Water, Sanitation and Hygiene” – several interrelated public health issues that are of particular interest to international development programs. Affordable access to WASH is a key public health issue, especially in developing countries.
The event aims to usher in a Swachhta Kranti (sanitation revolution) with the coming together of prominent faith-leaders, policy-makers, corporate leaders, civil society and media to foster collective action for ensuring safe water, sanitation and a pollution-free environment for all. Rather
The key faith-leaders gracing the occasion include Swami Chidanand Saraswati, Founder of the Global Interfaith WASH Alliance India, Sant Giani Gurbachan Singh, Jathedar of Akal Takht (The Golden Temple), Maulana Umer Ahmed Ilyasi, President of the All India Organisation of Imams of Mosques, Acharya Lokesh Muni, the Founder of Ahimsa Vishwa Bharati, Sadhvi Bhagvati Saraswati, General Secretary of GIWA, Lama Lobsung, Asoka Mission, Archbishop William D’Souza, Patna, Dr. Kiranjot Kaur, Shiromani Gurudwara Parbandhak and many others.
GIWA Leaders will be participating in a number of initiatives during the Prakashotsav including:
- January 3, 2017: GIWA leaders will join the Prakashotsav Seminar at the Takhat Sri Har Mandir Sahib and will highlight the importance of Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH).
- January 4, 2017: GIWA leaders will join the Naam Kirtan and will lead the `Swachta-kranti’ procession.
- January 4, 2017, 11:30 am onwards: GIWA leaders will hold the Sarva Dharam, Swachchta Evam Sadbhavna Samvaad at Hotel Chanakya. The Samvaad aims to initiate a dialogue with key stakeholders highlighting the role of religion/faith in changing sanitation behaviours. Hon’ble Chief Minister of Bihar, Shri Nitish Kumar, along with key Ministers, is expected to participate.
GIWA will lead the Sarva Dharam Swachhta Sankalp, a pledge to spread the message of cleanliness and sanitation to their congregations and followers in the State, and announcement of a GIWA State Chapter, which will be followed by a media interaction.
- January 5, 2017: GIWA leaders will join the Prakashotsav finale at Gandhi Maidan, which will be graced by the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, and several other national and state level dignitaries. A handbook on ‘WASH’ in Sikhism will be released on the occasion.