GIWA Across the Globe

Meetings with World Leaders

GIWA travels the world for high-level meetings with our world’s leaders, on behalf of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for all. GIWA has met with leaders including: the Hon’ble President of India, HE Sri Pranab Mukerjee, the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, HRH Charles, Prince of Wales, the Hon’ble Prime Minister of the UK, Mr. David Cameron, the Hon’ble Prime Minister of Japan, Mr. Shinzo Abe (in photo), the Hon’ble President of South Africa, HE Jacob Zuma, the Hon’ble President of Guyana, HE Donald Ramotar, the Hon’ble Vice President of Nepal Shri Parmanand Jha, Hon’ble USA  Congresswoman Smt. Tulsi Gabbard, as well as numerous sitting Cabinet Ministers and other leaders from around the world.  See photos at http://washalliance.org/advocacy/

GIWA at the United Nations

GIWA participates regularly in United Nations advocacy activities and meetings, to help ensure our world realizes a sustainable future for which everyone, everywhere can have access to healthy Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH).

GIWA at the World Bank

GIWA has participated in planning as well as two high-level meetings at the World Bank’s Washington DC Headquarters recently, working directly with World Bank President, Dr. Jim Yong Kim, World Bank officials and faith leaders from the world’s many faiths to set a new course of interfaith togetherness to end poverty and conserve our world’s natural resources, such as water, through sustainable development.

Royal Visit to GIWA’s Secretariat

Their Royal Highnesses, Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, paid an official visit to GIWA’s Secretariat of Parmarth Niketan Ashram, Rishikesh as the first destination of their nine-day visit to India.

Arriving just before sunset, Their Royal Highnesses took part in a sacred evening Aarti Ceremony (ritual of lights) and other interfaith ceremonies for World Peace and Environmental Preservation, led by GIWA Co-Founder, HH Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji.

Following the ceremonies, their Royal Highnesses took part in a GIWA Water Blessing Ceremony, led by Pujya Swamiji, in which waters from the world’s sacred rivers were offered onto a large globe, symbolizing a prayer that all people across the world should have access to safe and sufficient water.

His Royal Highness Prince Charles shared beautiful words of inspiration and spoke about how glad he was to be present for this ceremony and also how glad he is to hear about the wonderful work for the environment and humanity being done by Pujya Swamiji. He said: “It has been a particular pleasure to meet Swamiji, about whom I have heard so much. I know that he and all the work that he and his colleagues do, is of remarkable significance.”

GIWA at the House of Commons

For the first time in British history, an interfaith GIWA Water Blessing Ceremony was performed at the House of Commons with prayers that all people, all over the world should have access to safe, sufficient water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). The event also was organised to raise awareness of water scarcity across the globe, which has reached unprecedented dangerous levels.

The House of Commons event, organised by the Global Interfaith WASH Alliance, Ganga Action Parivar and Gurukul Parivar, saw representatives of nine faiths addressing a distinguished gathering of 300 people including royalty, lords, Members of Parliament and prominent leaders, who had gathered in this historic city for a common purpose to have access to pure and fresh water globally. The faith leaders gave inspiring, uplifting and compelling discourses on the importance of the protection and preservation of water. They highlighted the fact that water is truly the giver of life, and therefore considered sacred in all the world’s religious traditions.

The River Thames

GIWA joined forces recently with Thames21, London’s leading Thames River charity in the signing of an MoU, during which they mobilized a clean up of the rubbish strewn banks of the River Thames.

This unique collaboration saw HH Pujya Swamiji Chidanand Saraswatiji, Co-Founder of the Global Interfaith WASH Alliance, mobilise dozens of volunteers of all ages who, in searing heat, donned wellies and gloves to dig up countless discarded plastic bags and other waste that had sunk below the muddy surface at the Isle of Dogs. In the shadow of the 02 Arena Pujya Swamij modelled yoga in action by immediately and dedicatedly giving his hands to the massive task at hand.

Pujya Swamiji initiated this Thames clean up to raise awareness that all rivers are sacred as they bring life. “We should all work to keep our rivers clean and revere them as we revere the Ganga, for water is truly life and therefore holy,” said Pujya Swamiji as he helped the children dig into the muddy banks to retrieve some of the seemingly endless plastic bags.

The Thames clean up ended with all the volunteers celebrating both the Thames and Ganga and making a commitment to continue to hold regular community clean ups on the banks of the Thames, England’s most iconic river.

Image Gallery