Nearly half a million Global Citizens in India have taken action to help eradicate poverty by 2030 ahead of the Global Citizen Festival in Mumbai this month, but for the world’s most famous philanthropist, that’s only the beginning.  

Bill Gates announced his support for Global Citizen's India Festival, which is on Nov. 19 in Mumbai, and the Indian government’s efforts to rally young people in the country to eradicate poverty in a videotaped Facebook message released today.

Learn More: Take Action on Global Citizen India

“By harnessing the power of technology we can connect 1.2 billion Indians and come together to end extreme poverty,” he said in the video. “The Gates Foundation is committed to supporting India’s leadership and tackling extreme poverty, and I commend Prime Minister Modi and his administration for their leadership with the Swachh Bharat campaign.”

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Global Citizen India is a social action platform that aims to galvanize youth across the country to push for change on water, sanitation, and hygiene issues, as well as education and gender equality. The issues are among the biggest challenges facing India in the journey to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030, in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Technology is an important way for the youth of India to become engaged: by 2020, India is projected to have the youngest population on earth, and by as early as 2017, there will be 350 million smartphones in circulation and 375 million internet users — of which 120 million are college-age students

Global Citizen India, which will have its first festival on World Toilet Day in Mumbai on Nov. 19, is asking people to take political action in order to win tickets to the festival, where leaders from India and the world will be on hand to talk about how to bring change to the country.

Read More: Global Citizen Launches 15-Year Campaign to Mobilize Social Change in India

So far, 90,000 Global Citizens signed a petition that resulted in the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh committing to attaining the Sustainable Development Goals and ending poverty by 2030 by being the start of change.

Disclosure: Bill Gates is the co-founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a funding partner of Global Citizen.

Editor's note: This piece has been updated to include a disclosure that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is a funding partner of Global Citizen. We regret the oversight.


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