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Global Citizen India Festival Is Here: What We Hope to Achieve

Vidar Malhotra/Flickr

Back in September, Global Citizen announced our first-ever festival in India — and now it’s finally here!

Global Citizen India has spent months preparing for Saturday’s Global Citizen Festival India, which will serve as a celebration for everything that Global Citizens have achieved by taking action.

In just two months, 5 lakh (that’s 500,000 for the non-Indians) young Global Citizens in India took 20 lakh (2,000,000) actions calling on political, faith and business leaders along with celebrities to be more accountable on education, gender equality, clean water and sanitation.

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All of these actions have create real change in India. And on Saturday, we’ll find out just how much is going to be accomplished as a result of Global Citizens’ and partners’ hard work as dignitaries take the stage to announce their commitments. Then we’ll celebrate with Coldplay, Jay-Z, Aamir Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Farhan Akhtar, Kareen Kapoor, and many more.

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Why are we hosting a festival in India? So that we can help propel the progress already being made on achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and to help mobilize the powerful force that is the young people of India. With their help, we are calling for leaders to take real action to achieve sustainable and more inclusive growth.

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“The years I spent living and working in India as a teenager were a key catalyst of my passion for challenging the status quo of poverty alleviation,” said Global Citizen founder and CEO Hugh Evans. “So bringing the Global Citizen movement to India is a moment many years in the making.”

We’re hoping that through the actions of Global Citizens in India, we can expand efforts to make clean water accessible to all and end open defecation, which is the source of countless health issues like diarrhea, which kills roughly 800,000 children under 5 each year. More than 1 billion people are infected by parasites from contaminated water, due to open defecation.

Classroom in India - World BankImage: Flickr: World Bank Photo Collection

We’re also campaigning to make education available for all, especially girls, by improving the sanitation at schools. Just because a girl has her period doesn’t mean she can’t attend school. But if there aren’t adequate sanitation facilities, that often leads to girls staying home entirely. This restricts a woman’s income opportunities, which suppresses the overall economy.

These are just a few of the areas that leaders need to focus on to help make sure India is doing its part in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. To make this a reality, Global Citizen mapped out concrete ways that Global Citizens helped push forward this agenda — they signed petitions, set tweets, and called world leaders to ask them to support these efforts.

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Once Global Citizens took enough actions, they were entered into a drawing to get free tickets for the festival. The crowd on Saturday will be full of people who took action to help the world’s most vulnerable get access to cleaner water, better sanitation facilities, better education, and more.

This week, we’ll keep Global Citizens everywhere updated on how India is working hard to improve water and sanitation, girls and education, and the environment.

And on Saturday, stay tuned to our Twitter account for live updates from the festival itself, and look for video clips from the show and a story recapping all the events on Sunday.

And remember, Saturday’s festival is just the beginning — Global Citizens will continue to check the progress of leaders in India and around the world to make help end extreme poverty by 2030.