Pujya Swamiji and Sadhviji Attend the PARD Meet in Switzerland
Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji, President of Parmarth Niketan (Rishikesh), Co-Founder of the Global Interfaith WASH Alliance, and Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati ji, Secretary General of the Global Interfaith WASH Alliance (GIWA), participated, representing India, in the annual general meeting organized by ‘ ‘PARD’ – Partnership on Religion and Sustainable Development.
PARD is an international renowned organization aimed at the positive impact of religious values, green, steady and sustainable development and work with religious, civil society, government, non-governmental organizations for humanitarian assistance.
The ‘PARD’ organization is the world’s first organization that works in three different pillars. First pillar being organizations like BMZ, Federal Ministry of Economics Corporation and Development, United State Agency for International Development, Council of Citizens, UNICEF, The World Bank, UN United Nations World Food Programme, Global Interfaith Wash Alliance, United Nations Population Fund, United Nations Development Program for women and other international organizations who are its members. The second pillar includes government of United Kingdom, the United States, Germany and many other countries. Participation from international recognized faith based organization makes the final pillar of PARD.
The meeting had vibrant discussions on topics like world peace, raising awareness on increasing violence against children, women empowerment, education, health and bringing faith based organisations together for sustainable development.
In this meeting, Sadhvi Bhagwati Saraswati ji was also selected as special member in the Steering Committee to work for the next two years. Six members have been selected by the committee.
Pujya Swamiji shared that Sadhviji being the Secretary General of the GIWA would be able to contribute to the discussions by emphasizing the importance of cleanliness, education and health in building a more sustainable and equitable world for all.
Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswati ji while emphasizing on the increasing crimes against women and children and the rising water problems, said that the coming 10 years is very important and if we fail to pay attention now, it will be too late. He said that there should be development at the global level but that should be green and sustainable development.
Pujya Swamiji said, “There can be a plan A and a plan B but there is no planet B we only have one planet. I am so glad to hear about the various international organizations working for water conservation at their own level but now the time has come for everyone to work together as one family to address our global challenges and protect our home- planet Earth.”
He also added, “Women have a great role to play in creating a more sustainable and equitable planet for all beings. Indian spiritual culture has always put the role of women first. They were not just objects but actually the essence of reverence and divinity. We must bring these values and this respect, reverence back to women and to children in order to empower them to come forward to build a better world for all.”
Sadhvi Bhagwati Saraswati ji emphasized that safety, education and health is the birth right of children. She shared a beautiful story about a father giving his son torn up newspaper image of the world to tape back together in order to keep his son busy for a few hours but much to his father’s amazement within a couple of minutes the son completed the task. When the father asked how he had been able to accomplish the feat the young boy said that on the back of the image of the globe was an image of a young child and that he just flipped the pieces and put together the child and the world came together automatically. She said in the same way when we protect and serve the future of our children we are also simultaneously protecting and serving the future of our planet.
Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswati ji asked all delegates and eminent dignitaries who were present at the annual meeting of the PARD to take an oath for water and environmental conservation.
On this occasion, Dr. Mohammad Ashmawi, Director General, Kiosk Dialing Center, Vienna, Mohammed Abu-Nimar, Head Bayaz Alor Organization, Istanbul, Turkey, Catherine Marshall, Senior Advisor Causeway Center, Vienna, Christo Graling, Executive Director World Profit Development Dialogue, Georgetown University, Washington DC, Musee Helu , Senior Director, United Religious Initiative for the UCI Africa and the Continental Director, Rabbi Awraham Soetendorp , eminent Jewish interfaith leader, Founder Jacob Soetendorp Foundation for Human Values, Netherlands, Mohamed Elsounsi, Executive Director Religious and Traditional Network, Convener and other eminent guests were present.