“SDGs: Agenda 2030 and Civil Society Organizations engagement in India”

25th September 2016 will see the mark of the 1st anniversary of 193 countries signing the “Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” with the principle ‘Leave No One Behind’.  Framed within the UN human rights and development paradigms, the 17 goals and 169 targets cover important strategies and action for promoting the 5Ps – people, peace, prosperity, partnerships and planet. When compared to the Millennium Development Goals that ended in 2015, the SDGs were the result of a large participatory and consultative process and member state negotiated manner giving due importance to human rights and environmental issues.  To mark the first year anniversary, a number of high-level events and side events are taking place from 19 to 23 September in the United Nation at New York.

At the national level, the government has recognized the NITI Aayog as the nodal agency. The NITI Aayog has identified concerned ministries and core central schemes for being nodal and supportive to the 17 goals and targets under the 2030 agenda. The State governments along with NITI Aayog and the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation hold key roles in implementation of the SDGs. The final national indicators for the Goals and targets and the high level parliamentary mechanism are yet to be in place. The State governments are formulating state plans based on the SDGs. Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS) a think tank for Ministry of External Affairs (MOSPI), is spearheading a programme of consultations among lawmakers, policymakers, academia, private sector and the civil society in India on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to ensure maximum awareness and participation at an early date towards drawing up a roadmap for the implementation of relevant targets in India as enshrined in this agenda. RIS is also collaborating with key international think tanks and organisations in India on specific issues related to the SDGs to strengthen knowledge partnerships.

Wada Na Todo Abhiyan, a network consisting of over 4000 civil society organisations across the country in 22 states actively engaged in the SDG process from 2012. WNTA is organizing state level civil society consultations on Agenda 2030 to popularize the SDGs and to build an Inclusive multistakeholders platform to engage and monitor the SDGs. WNTA with its members plans to organize a national multistakeholders consultation for SDGs : Agenda 2030 on 8th & 9th November 2016 to engage, implement and to draft a inclusive accountability framework for monitoring the progress of the Agenda 2030. The Civil society envisages monitor the SDGs: Agenda 2030 by periodic shadow reporting and advocacy.

Concerned about the growing economic inequalities, WNTA members have been active in popularizing and building awareness on various SDG goals and targets. Organisations and networks have developed awareness materials and held consultations on SDG from the perspective of Dalits, Women, Children, and thematic issues – water and sanitation, urban development, peace and conflict, poverty and inequalities, education, health, environmental issues to name a few.

WNTA is concerned that the SDG does not refer to caste based discrimination as a basis for promoting poverty, violence and other development disadvantages. As larger populations in the country are particularly affected through caste based discrimination, we are hopeful that the national indicators will include it.

Internationally, many countries have taken up the Sustainable Development Goals as a part of their planning and development programmes, with many countries including China, South Korea and Philippines from Asia voluntarily agreed to be reviewed in HLPF 2016 held in New York in September. With list of SDG based events forthcoming, India needs to show more commitment towards the SDG process and effective and inclusive implementation as well as review and follow up. There is a need for systematic planning for engaging with various stakeholders like CSO, Private sector and others for inclusive and participatory implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and Targets.

With IAEG-SDG meeting for final setting of the global indicators in October 2016 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, there is a need for strong intervention for addressing of the developmental planning and developing of monitoring tools for the SDGs implementation and review. There is a need for the accountable, transparent and participatory approach towards the decision making, implementation and follow up of the SDG process in India. As a strong economic power, India needs to be more pro active in addressing the issue as well as being a model for Sustainable and participatory planning, implementation and follow up and review of SDG process.

We are encouraged by India voluntarily agreeing to be reviewed in 2017 and taking a lead role.  The world recognizes that SDG achievement in India will influence global SDG achievement.

Recommendations/demands by the Civil Society

  1. India will take a lead role in maintaining the inter-relatedness and integrity of the SDG framework as a whole and advocate for global review on all indicators and not only select indicators.
  2. India will hold SDG as important framework in the engagement with BRICS, SAARC and G20.
  3. That the country level indicators recognize caste identity of Scheduled caste and other backward communities as a basis for discrimination and development disadvantages.
  4. Constitute a parliamentary body on SDGs to provide direction, oversight and monitoring on the implementation of the SDGs.
  5. The SDG monitoring will evolve the mechanism to track indicators disaggregated along social, gender, ability and economic locations.
  6. Mechanisms for collaboration and partnership between civil society and state for implementation and monitoring SDGs will be evolved at the national, state and sub state levels.
  7. An annual report on the implementation and progress on all the SDGs and the relevant interlinkages will be submitted to the parliament every year.

For more informations do get back to us

Mail :info.wadanatodo@gmail.com,
Phone : 011-4608 2371 /72 /73
John Animesh Gomes
Program Coordinator & In-Charge
WNTA Secretariat
Mobile : 08587967962

Eknath Khadse causes crores of losses to Government to favor ABIL

An order by then revenue minister Shri Eknath Khadse about a prime land in the heart of the Pune city was bought to AAP’s notice. On probing further AAP has come in possession of a number of documents which point towards political clout being used to ignore proof and procedures resulting in windfall gains for ABIL.
A GR issued in 1951 (Attached) states to transfer the lease of Vijayanagar Cooperative Housing Society at S. No 132B, Bhamburde, Shivajinagar to anyone other than existing members, prior Government permission is required. The GR further states that it is Government policy to claim 50% of the profit in case of transfer of lease.
A deed of assignment / transfer was signed by Mr. Amit Bhosale and others on 29 Oct 2012  (Attached) without prior Government approval & without paying Government nazarana.
An NGO, Bhrastachar virodhi Gandhigiri Jan Andolan, had filed a case against Shri Avinash Bhosale (plot no 2) and Shri Sunil S Patil (plot no 15)  at the Additional Collector’s Court in 2014. An order was passed on 7/7/2015 (Attached) that prima facie the GR was not followed and the Upvibhagiya Adhikari was ordered to investigate the complete matter and initiate action for recovery of Government nazarana.
The NGO filed a caveat (attached) on 26/08/2016 at the Revenue Minister’s office stating that no order be passed in this matter without hearing them.
Even before the amount could be calculated by the Collector’s office, an appeal was filed at the Revenue Minister’s office by Shri Avinish Bhosale and Shri Sunil S Patil on  5/1/2016. Despite the caveat, the then Revenue Minister Shri Eknath Khadse called upon only Upper Ayukt and Upper Jilhadhikari to return back with  papers on this matter within 2 weeks. These two officers conveniently did not go back again and assuming that they have nothing to show on this matter, order was passed without hearing the NGO (Attached) staying the Additional Collectors order and in effect causing revenue losses for the Government of Maharashtra.
AAP states that the Additional Collector should be censured for not returning back to the Revenue Minister’s office within the given time. The Revenue Minister, despite a caveat being in place, did not call the NGO to present its case and passed an ex party order in favor of Shri Bhosale and Shri Patil raises serious questions on the order and the intentions of the Minister.
AAP demands that like in recent past, the CM had revoked many orders taken by Shri Eknath Khadse, this order should also be revoked, freshly investigated and Shri Avinash Bhosale and Shri Sunil S Patil be made to pay the Government the necessary dues. At the same time, a commission must be appointed to identify all the defaulters Vijayanagar Cooperative Housing Society at S. No 132B, Bhamburde, Shivajinagar and recover the monies due to the Government. If this is done, the state can easily earn its rightful dues which will amount to more than 1000 crores at today’s rates. 

All American Rally for Trump in Philadelphia, PA Oct 8th, 2016, 1:30 PM

All American Rally for Trump in Philadelphia, PA
Oct 8th, 2016,  1:30 PM

22 September 2016


In a potential game changer in the 2016 presidential election, activists from around the country have come together to organize a political rally supporting Donald Trump in the swing state of Pennsylvania.

The first ‘All American Rally for Trump’ will take place at 1:30 PM on October 8 at the People’s Plaza located near the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia. The rally is the creation of Indian Americans and African Americans who have come together and it will feature Indian Americans, African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Haitian Americans, Jewish Americans and other groups who wish to see Donald Trump win the election.
Bruce Carter who is the founder of Black Men for Bernie along with Hindu activists Satya Dosapati and Arvind Kumar are the main organizers of the rally.Over 1,500 people are expected to attend the rally which signifies the coming together of many people for their own reasons. Satya Dosapati, who is one of the organizers stated, “This is a very important election. It is the first time the voters have seen through the establishment’s manipulation of the electoral process and have decided to assert themselves.”

“The Clinton family and Bush family partner with each other to advance the agenda of corporate welfare and illegitimate wars. This is an opportunity to end the political fortunes of both families,” added Arvind Kumar.
Philadelphia has a large black population which has been let down by politicians who typically use them to further their careers. Elaborating on the reason for organizing this rally, Bruce Carter stated, “Black voters can no longer afford to be slaves to any party.”

The organizers plan to organize a series of rallies in other swing states. While Philadelphia will be the venue for the first rally, other rallies will be scheduled in the swing states of Florida, North Carolina and Ohio when sufficient funds are raised.

For media inquiries, email allamericanrally@gmail.com or contact Arvind Kumar at (646) 389-7622.

Operation “Zarb e Azb” discussed in the United Nations

On September 21, the International Forum for Rights of Pakistan hosted a seminar at the UNHRC in Geneva on the human rights violations caused by the Pakistani Army, under the garb of Operation Zarb-e-Azb. Speakers at the conference included Faiz Mohd Zaland, human rights activist from Afghanistan,  Jacek Wlocowicz, Member of the Senate of Polish Parliament, Paulo Casaca ,Executive Director, South Asia Democratic Forum, Tarek Fateh, Executive Director Baluchistan House and Mehran Marri, Baluch Representative at the UNHRC .
Dr. Faiz Modh Zaland, while speaking at the event, stated that the Pakistan Army and its intelligence agencies had victimized the Pashtuns who were living in North and South Waziristan. He stated that the military operation Zarb-e-Azb had only destroyed the homes of the local people and not the terrorists, unlike the claims of the Pakistani government. With UN agencies and the world media denied access to the areas of the operation, Dr Zaland said that the Pakistani government had ensured that these atrocities did not come out in the open.
Jacek Wlocowicz, in his speech, stated that though the Pakisatni Army had left no stone unturned to project that the operation was a success, this was actually one of the worst humanitarian crisis witnessed, forcing more than 2 million people from their homes. He added that what was more concerning was the Pakistani government’s statement that the offensive would not end till all terrorists were eliminated, thereby turning it into an indefinite process. He concluded that the Pakistani government was barely taking any concrete and substantial initiatives to rehabilitate refugees in the region, let alone acknowledge the lives lost in the humanitarian crisis that had engulfed the region.
While speaking on Operation Zarb-e-Azb, Mehran Marri stated that the operation had been launched to protect the Haqqani network and what Pakistan described as the good Taliban. He charged Pakistan of being linked to 75 per cent of the terror incidents in the world.
Tarek Fateh in his statement informed that the Pakistan Army had started the operation to kill its own citizens in order to ensure the smooth exit of nearly 2000 Central Asian and Chechen terrorists to move to Syria to join the ISIS. He warned that if not checked, Pakistan would become a threat to the citizens of Europe and America.
A 45-minute documentary on the humanitarian disaster caused by Op Zarb-e Azb, was also screened at the seminar.

Grit, Guts and Glory – Hero MTB Himalaya is back

                                                                   Inline image 1 
Grit, Guts and Glory – Hero MTB Himalaya is back
The amazing cycle race, Hero MTB Himalaya, is here again!

New Delhi,23rd  September,2016: The 12th edition of the world famous cycle race, Hero MTB Himalaya 2016, is all set to begin from Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, on 25th September 2016. After covering 650 KM of Himalayan track in 8 days, the race will end at Dharamshala on October 3.
Considered to be one of the toughest races in the world, Hero MTB Himalaya is not for the faint hearted. A race that takes the riders through the untouched parts of the Himalayas, bustling towns and villages, across streams – all set amidst the beauty of the mighty Himalayas. With a total elevation gain of almost 50,000 feet in the previous edition, even the most experienced riders found the altitude challenging.
Hero MTB Himalaya is organised by the Himalayan Adventure Sports & Tourism Promotion Association (HASTPA). The Hero Action Team which is sponsoring the Indian team was conceptualised by HASTPA and Hero Cycles in 2014 with an objective to provide a platform and ecosystem for budding biking talent in the country.
The race will be done in 8 stages, and every day there will be a different base camp on the tricky track.
According to Mr Ashish Sood, HASTPA spokesperson, “This year, we are expecting 60 entries. Several world famous riders, including 7 woman riders, have confirmed their participation.”
Mr Pankaj Munjal, Chairman and MD Hero Cycles, added, “Mountain biking is a sport that requires a high degree of training, stamina and passion for biking in the high terrain. The sport has gained a encouraging following in recent years but we want to expand its reach to more youngsters in the country. At Hero Cycles, we believe in promoting sports and active lifestyles. Hero MTB Himalaya is an earnest initiative of Hero Cycles to promote adventure sports and mountain biking in India. We are looking forward to an exciting series of events in the coming 8 days of Hero MTB Himalaya.”
The following are some of the well-known riders participating in MTB Himalaya 2016:
1. Sarah Appelt, 26, in the Open Women Solo category from Germany. She is the winner of 1st Hero MTB Shimla 2016 and 1st Hell Race     2015(female category)
2. Akash Sherpa, 18, Youngest Indian in the Open Men Solo Category. He stood 3rd in the MTB Shimla 2016
3.Sandeep Madaan, 24, in the Open Men Solo category from India who stood 2nd in the MTB Shimla, 2015 and 3rd in MTB Shimla, 2016.      He came 2nd in the Hell Race, and 2nd in the Manali 2015-16, and 3rd in the Firstrom 2016.
4.Ruben Chirino, 53, Swiss-Venezuelan, in the Grand Masters category. He is winner of several races in Chile and Indonesia.
5.Ms Monika Eggert, 32, German, in the Team of Two category. She is the winner of Night on Bike 16 h, 2016, Jilhava 12 h 2016, Stuttgart    24 h 2015, Alfsee 24 h, 2015 and 3rd place holder in Beskidy Trophy Stagerace 2016.
6. John Jack Funk,60, Canadian. He is participating in the Grand Masters category. His top wins include 7 podiums out of 8 races in the         Bow 80 Near Death Division, 2nd place in the LIMBC Horizon Years 2014 and 2nd place in Boja Epic old boys.
Ashish said, “Identifying talent right at the school level, training them and taking them to world stage has been a dream we have pursued   with relentless zeal for the last couple of years. We are grateful to Hero Cycles for being our partner in this endeavor. Whether it’s the     team’s training, travel, nutrition, or equipment Hero Cycles has not stinted on anything, providing them the very best.”
According to Ashish, the race will also be including the regular school programs conducted at the camps along the entire route. “A race that is bound to test your strength and will power, apart from your riding skills will leave an impeccable and breath-taking experience in your mind and heart. Well, we don’t say that but the riders do.”
For more information, please login at: http://www.mtbhimalaya.com/

India Fastest or Snail Economy, Exports to US $45b, China $483b


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