The 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi on October 2 will witness the start of a unique Delhi-to-Geneva march. The 14,000-km-long march will wind through 10 countries and take one year to complete.
The global march for peace and justice, called Jai Jagat 2020, will urge implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at a meeting with UN agencies in Geneva.
The Jai Jagat campaign will focus on four pillars of SDGs — poverty eradication, social inclusion, climate justice and non-violent resolution of conflicts.
Addressing the media, eminent Gandhian Rajagopal PV said globalisation and its related problems should be seen through the lens of Jai Jagat — “All for the Planet, and the Planet for All”.
The march, which will be flagged off on October 2 at Rajghat, will travel through the country for four months before going out of India.
Jill Carr-Harris, one of the lead organisers of the march, recounted how Gandhi held an ecological understanding of development, which was relevant even today’s context of climate change and planetary crisis.
“This integration of climate mitiagation must not be seen as ‘carbon alone’, for we need to examine the values beneath our actions to re-establish a better relationship with the earth”, she said.
Harris said it was important to equate the climate crisis with other crises to have a holistic approach. “Climate mitigation should not come with greater poverty and social discrimination. It needs to go together. This is where the SDGs are a good recipe”, she said.
Ramesh Sharma, one of the leaders of Ekta Parishad, spoke on how the march will go onto Shiraz in Iran and travel for another 245 days to Geneva. Simultaneously, parallel marches from other countries, like Senegal, France, Germany and the UK, will meet this yatra in Geneva.