“The Millennium Development Goals with their 18 global targets serve as the blueprint for the international action plan that the world is collectively striving to achieve.
As per the case study report of UN, 2010, India has contributed to large reduction in global poverty. Measured at the $ 1.25 a day poverty line, poverty rates are expected to fall from 51% in 1990 to 24% in 2015. However extreme poverty is prevailing in an India where income is very unequally distributed on average more than 30 children everyday arrive to Delhi looking for a better life. They try to escape from grinding poverty, violence, drunk parents, arranged marriage or they simply get lost in.
The Mahatma Gandhi Global Indian Foundation, The Saalam Baalak Trust, Don Bosco for instance and many NGOs are providing million of street children with basic health care, shelter, giving them love and care, educating them and helping find their parents. Many schools are here and there in India where due to lack of rooms, pupils are taught outside without proper teaching facilities. Although many efforts have been made, a large number of children are driven out of school in India till now. As per the Government declaration, till today 12 crore children have been brought under the mid-day mill program.
Several NGOs and community based organizations are actively dealing with women empowerment both in urban and rural areas. Like Gender Resource Center, OKhla, of Delhi, many more Organizations are striving to achieve gender equality in India. They are providing women with training about basic IT education, how to manufacture bags, embroidery products, and all skills that will help them find suitable job. Creation of Self Help Group (SHG) is very remarkable here.
Because of low school enrolment of girls in rural India and early marriages, girls here in India are less educated and have less chance in society. Due to dowry system, honour killing and bride burning, there is still a long way to go to reach gender equality. Even the rule of law on marriage against dowries, against foeticide, against violence inside family, against discrimination of lower caste and fostering their participation in political life are not being manifested in many parts of the country yet. Government organizations and several NGOs and trust are trying to achieve MDGs 4, 5 and 6 that is maternal care, child mortality, HIV/AIDS and other diseases but India has still a long way to go to meet MDGs.
However the active role of citizen, potentially the youths is the key for the achievement of the MDGs.The MDGs are about people, about goals that represent basic human needs and basic rights and these goals can only be achieved through global commitment. Citizen can contribute to achieve the MDGs in the following ways:
1) Contribution in everyday life: There is a direct link between little things we do every day in our daily life and the global challenges identified by the MDGs. If we would only become a little more frugal in our everyday habits without undermining our living standards, we would help the lives of million in the world. As for example, only in Europe food production industries throw away 90 million tons of food, worth 100 billion Euros for clear market logics each year. The food thrown away in Europe and North America would be enough to feed all the hungry people in the world three times over . What we need to do is to expose companies and governments. As consumers we can put pressure on the food retailer, food suppliers to know how much food they waste. Conscious citizen should prompt people to start asking questions to them. And thus citizen can make a difference.
2) Educating: Rising awareness among family members , friends , colleagues about the global challenges ,inequality , poverty , the MDGs after all and the development cooperation undertaken to tackle them is a policy in itself .Citizen should practice this policy to meet MDGs.
3) Advocacy: Citizen can play a decisive role in influencing decision making and the allocation of public or private resources through advocacy policy. By this policy they can bring media to the communities to give people a say .Organizing street action, solidarity walks also are the mediums to draw the notice of the concerned authorities. The policy, advocacy aims at the implementation of rights existing under the constitution and laws which have not been enforced yet.
4) Volunteering: to make volunteering a mass movement is a great way to achieve the MDGs. Youth involvement in the collective effort plays a great role.
5) Partnership: To establish partnership is the key to the development. Partnership between donors and recipients can create a fertile ground for citizens from three continents to work together, discuss the challenges of the MDGs and find a way to tackle them on an equal footing as partner.
6) Building your own project: Citizens, especially the youth can develop project proposal to build their own project with the help of local governments and the international donors to meet the challenges.
7) Multiplication: To inspire young people to become successful multipliers in their societies using the knowledge, experience and skill s acquired during the course of the project.
8) Cultural Dialogue: To create a culturally diverse work environment and increase intercultural dialogue between the youth of various nations.
In conclusion it is said that citizen should execute their duties to their society with global commitment.” – Dr. Mahabur Rahaman Mondal – Kolkata, India