Bangalore to see 40,000 stand up against poverty

Bangalore, Karnataka, India
10th November 2007

Art of Living, UNMC join hands to fight poverty

BANGALORE: The Art of Living and United Nations Millennium Campaign (UNMC) have come together to champion the cause of eradicating poverty. The two organisations have launched a joint initiative that will see the former mobilise over 4 million people across the globe to support UMNC’s Stand Up & Speak Out against poverty and for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

On October 17, 2007, the Art of Living will organise several public events in over 100 countries for people from all walks of life to come together and take a pledge in support of the eradication of extreme poverty and to ensure the achievement of MDGs by the world community.

The main event in India will be held at the Art of Living International Centre where His Holiness Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar will lead 40,0000 people in standing up against poverty. Top officials of UNMC including Minar Pimple, Deputy Director, Asia will attend the event.

“The STAND UP events will be held all over the world, from the busiest square in the world, New York’s Times Square to the smallest school in the tsunami-struck Ache province in Indonesia,” said Dr.Richa Chopra, from the Art of Living International Centre who is co- ordinating the event globally.

The events will be in different forms such as simple public gatherings, music concerts, group dances, rallies, carnivals, street theatres and satsangs.

“We are also looking to have the STAND UP pledge included in routine schedules of the day such as sporting events, film shows, etc apart from engaging schools, colleges, universities, and companies to hold pledge-taking events in their premises,” she added.

In all STAND UP events, participants will stand up for two minutes and take a pledge to defeat extreme poverty. “The idea behind the STAND UP campaign is to remind world leaders of their promise of achieving the Millennium Development Goals by 2015 and urge them to show the necessary political will. The participants will stand up and urge the rich countries to keep their promises, better & more aid, debt cancellation & fair trade; and the poorer countries to make it their first responsibility to save the lives of the poorest citizens and achieve real transparency and accountability in how resources are deployed & spent,” said Mr. Minar Pimple, Deputy Director, Asia, UNMC.

In his message exhorting people to join the campaign to eradicate poverty,

His Holiness Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of the Art of Living, said,“All the nations of the world have come together and have set up eight Millennium Development Goals, and it will remain just a dream if you don’t stand up and participate. We all have to join together to eradicate poverty, to bring primary education, health, hygiene, care for the environment and make this world a more beautiful place to be in.”

The October 17 event is a follow-up to an alliance finalised in May 2007 between the Art of Living and UNMC under which Gurudev has pledged his commitment to support UNMC’s initiatives to realise the Millennium Development Goals of eradicating extreme poverty and hunger; achieving universal primary education; promoting gender equality and empowering women; reducing child mortality; improving maternal health; combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases; ensuring environmental sustainability and developing a global partnership for development.