GIWA Co-Founder, Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji, met with His Excellency the Former President of India, Dr. Abdul Kalam, recently to discuss GIWA’s many initiatives.
Pujya Swamiji shared with President Kalam that every day, some 1,600 children die mostly preventable deaths due to deplorable WASH conditions. Tragically, India leads the world in the number of children under the age of five who die every year. Many of these deaths could have been prevented if only there had been proper water, sanitation and hygiene conditions.
Pujya Swamiji said, “we can no longer sit idly in our prayer rooms while children are dying painful and preventable deaths due to unsafe water, sanitation and hygiene. That is why the faiths are joining forces to ensure everyone has access to clean water and proper sanitation and hygiene. In light of our nation’s growing population and the rapid degradation of our natural resources, the need couldn’t be greater than it is right now.”
GIWA and other partners are working together to ensure sustainable disaster risk reduction and green rebuilding in the disaster-torn Himalayas, under the umbrella of Project Hope, which was founded by Pujya Swamiji in the aftermath of the 2004 South Indian Tsunami.
Pujya Swamji and Presdent Kalam also discussed the service initiatives undertaken by GIWA in Uttarakhand and other states of Northern India to clean and protect the waters of Mother Ganga and its tributaries for the approximately 500 million Indians who depend upon this water for their very lives and livelihoods.
Pujya Swamiji shared, “every day, one billion litres of toxic chemicals pour into the Ganga River due to industry and agriculture. Because of this, our beautiful natural resources are decaying and far too many people are sickening and dying.”