GIWA Co-Founder, Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji and Secretary General, Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswatiji, led renowned archbishops and bishops in Kerala in a pledge to take care of our water bodies, to keep them clean and protect them, and to work for improved sanitation and hygiene, during the International Conference on Climate Change and the Developing World in Kerala.

The event was, which was also attended by UNICEF India, was organized in association with the Church of South India Synod and the Nilackal Ecological Commission.

During the event, Pujya Swamiji emphasized that we have built enough churches and enough temples for now, and that now we need to build toilets (and of course educate and inspire people to USE them). He deeply inspired the assembled leaders to take the mission of WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) to their congregations and communities, saying, “we need congregations for sanitation!” He also emphasized the importance of not only the outer climate but also the inner climate, within our own minds and hearts.

As the theme of the conference was Climate Change, Sadhvi Bhagawatiji emphasized the role that each of our choices, every day, can make in mitigating the crises of climate change and lack of clean, safe water. Through organic agriculture, through buying local and by being a vegetarian, we can personally make lasting impacts in both sectors, mentioning that raising a pound of beef needs more than 9,000 litres of water whilst growing a pound of potatoes requires a mere 60 gallons.