RCE Srinagar - 2019

ESD at religious and spiritual congregations for promoting action towards Sustainable Development Goals, Aichi Biodiversity Targets and Paris Climate Agreement
Basic Information
Title of project : 
ESD at religious and spiritual congregations for promoting action towards Sustainable Development Goals, Aichi Biodiversity Targets and Paris Climate Agreement
Submitting RCE: 
RCE Srinagar
Contributing organization(s) : 
Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Science and Technology,
Directorate of School Education, and
University of Kashmir, Srinagar
Focal point(s) and affiliation(s)
Name: 
Dr. Abdhesh Kumar Gangwar
Organizational Affiliation: 
Coordinator and Focal Point, RCE Srinagar
Format of project: 
Power Point
Language of project: 
English
Date of submission:
Monday, March 18, 2019
Additional resources: 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kumbh_Mela
nmcg.nic.in;
www.namamiganges.com;
Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (Education for All); Clean India Mission; Disaster Risk Reduction; National Action Plan on Climate Change
At what level is the policy operating?: 
National
Geographical & Education Information
Region: 
Asia-Pacific
Country: 
India
Location(s): 
Prayagraj (formerly Allahabad), Varanasi and Haridwar
Address of focal point institution for project: 
RCE Srinagar
House No. 037, Stadium Colony-A, Near Ahmad's Filling Station, At & Post Office- Baramulla, Jammu & Kashmir, India PIN Code: 193101 Phones: +91-9415104125
Socioeconomic and environmental characteristics of the area : 
Prayagraj Kumbh 2019 took place between 15 January 2019 until 04 March 2019, total duration of 49 days. It was attended by over 250 million people from across India and overseas from over 192 countries including mission heads of 72 nations and over 5,000 Non-Resident Indians. Of the total footfall of 250 million over 49 days, around 45% of it was just during the three days of royal bath, 22.5 million on first day of royal bath on 15 January. The day of second royal bath, 04 February, was considered most auspicious and, therefore, it attracted most people, 55 million in just 24 hours. On the third and last day of royal bath, 10 February, over 20 million took the holy dip. It was a wonderful platform to promote action towards achieving SDGs, Aichi biodiversity targets and Paris Climate agreement.
Description of sustainable development challenge(s) in the area the project addresses: 
Important environmental challenges addressed were open defecation free environment, safe drinking water, clean and green environment, energy efficient transport & lighting, becoming digital, using ICT, practicing sustainability, life styles reducing carbon and other footprints, climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction, disaster management and preparedness etc. Prayagraj Kumbh 2019 was a perfect demonstration of environment friendly, low carbon lifestyles being practiced by the people of India. Kumbh has served the purpose of creating awareness and educating people showcasing demonstrations on SDGs, sustainability, biodiversity conservation and environment protection using both traditional wisdoms coupled with modern science and technology. It has certainly helped in promoting a low carbon society which is also environmentally sustainable, climate smart and disaster resilient.
Contents
Status: 
Ongoing
Period: 
January, 2019 to March, 2025
Rationale: 
Humanity’s increasing footprint, existing world population already overshooting the Planet Earth’s biocapacity presently requiring over 1.6 Planets, human population and consumerism still increasing leading to breaking of the thread of sustainability poses biggest ever challenge for the survival of humanity, not only of the future generations but also of the present generation. SDGs along with the targets set for Aichi biodiversity and Paris climate agreement need to be achieved at the earliest to save the humanity. ESD has proved an important tool to educate and motivate people and trigger action. The religious and spiritual congregations on holy river Ganges attended by huge number of people, being in good faith and receptive mood, provide a fantastic opportunity for promoting action towards achieving SDGs, low carbon life styles and achieving environmental sustainability. India being world’s second largest populated country and quite soon going to become the first one needs special attention for achieving SDGs and making Planet sustainable for the entire world community.

Objectives: 
At religious and spiritual congregations people come as devotees and are in best receptive mood. The entire premise is considered holy, pious and sacred and messages told to people are received well, respected and put into practice. River Ganges is considered holiest by Indians, also by people from overseas, and the religious and spiritual congregations there as divine. Promoting environmental sustainability through achieving SDGs by educating people coupled with showcasing demonstrations can be best done here. The success stories, displays and demonstrations make people believe and put into practice the education imparted related to achieving SDGs and other such targets. The government authorities organizing the congregations besides doing themselves invite stakeholders to make displays and communication for promoting government programs, policies and plans including SDGs. RCE Srinagar with its partner organizations used Prayagraj Kumbh 2019 to communicate for SDG, Aichi biodiversity targets and India’s commitment to Paris climate agreement.
Activities and/or practices employed: 
Through discussion amongst partners following themes were shortlisted for demonstration and communication, open defecation free environment, safe drinking water, clean and green environment, energy efficient transport & lighting, use of digital and ICT, reducing carbon and other footprints making life styles sustainable, climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction. Needed IEC materials, in English and Hindi, were developed and designed. Exhibitions were set up manned by the expert communicators to help visitors understand the contents. Panel discussions, dialogues, meetings were organized. Multi media mobile exhibition was taken around across the Kumbh 2019 premise. Theme based folk media performances, puppetry and street plays, were organized. Participating organizations were helped in making their communication material and communication strategy effective. Future plans to continue the initiative started post Kumbh 2019 were discussed amongst all the partners.
Size of academic audience: 
Over 500,000 people; Around 100,000 were addressed directly through meetings and discussions and over 400,000 visiting demonstrations, attending folk media performances. The 500,000 people will discuss it further in their locations taking the total reac
Results: 
1. People, over 500,000, liked the demonstrations and exhibitions, appreciated them. They also interacted with our communicators indicating their keen interest and they understood the messages cut across.
2. The activities have contributed significantly towards achieving open defecation free environment, safe drinking water, clean and green environment, energy efficient transport & lighting, use of digital and ICT, reducing carbon and other footprints making life styles sustainable, climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction.
3. Many amongst the people addressed were educators and communicators and showed keen interest in replicating these efforts in their area, also adapting and translating the IEC material into their local languages.
Lessons learned: 
1. The crowed was very diverse coming from all over India. Most of the rural people didn’t know English and Hindi and therefore there were language constraints in communicating with outside people.

2. Besides the IEC material, the communicators of the Team RCE and its partners also knew only Hindi and English and not the other Indian regional languages. This inhibited in making our communication effective.

3. On the days of royal bath, there was too much crowed so though there were more people but for logistics and law and order problems they could not be reached out. Government’s priority was to manage the crowed, no untoward incident happens especially the stampede. So, we were restricted in making desired reach out.
Key messages: 
Huge number of people in fine spirit and mood, coming voluntarily, feeling blessed and obliged being called upon by God on the divine and sacred land on the banks of Holy Ganges, provides perfect opportunity to create awareness on emerging environment and sustainable development challenges and promote measures helping achieve sustainability.
Relationship to other RCE activities: 
RCEs Jammu & Lucknow
Funding: 
At the moment from RCE Srinagar’s own limited resources, projects are being developed and submitted to various donor agencies for generating the required funds.

Pictures:

File Name Caption for picture Photo Credit
Image icon Photo 1. People moving towards Prayagraj Kumbh 2019.JPG (2.56 MB) People moving towards Prayagraj Kumbh 2019 Abdhesh Kumar Gangwar
Image icon Photo 2. Saints on chariots for taking royal bath Prayagraj Kumbh 2019. Photo AKG.JPG (4.07 MB) Saints on chariots for taking royal bath in Prayagraj Kumbh 2019 Abdhesh Kumar Gangwar
Image icon Photo 3. A head saint flanked by his devotees going for royal bath Prayagraj Kumbh 2019.Photo AKG.JPG (3.58 MB) A head saint flanked by his devotees going for royal bath Prayagraj Kumbh 2019 Abdhesh Kumar Gangwar
Image icon Photo 4. Holy dip in Prayagraj Kumbh 2019. Photo AKG.JPG (3.4 MB) Holy dip in Prayagraj Kumbh 2019 Abdhesh Kumar Gangwar
Image icon Photo 5. Ganga worship (Aarti) Photo-AKG.JPG (1.99 MB) Ganga worship (Aarti) Abdhesh Kumar Gangwar
Image icon Photo 6. Creating awareness on SDGs. Photo AKG.JPG (3.89 MB) Creating awareness on SDGs Abdhesh Kumar Gangwar
References and reference materials: 
UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
(https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs) and other themes of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
SDG 1 - End poverty in all its forms everywhere 
Direct
SDG 2 - End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture 
Direct
SDG 3 - Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages 
Direct
SDG 4 - Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all 
Direct
SDG 5 - Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls 
Direct
SDG 6 - Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all 
Direct
SDG 7 - Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all 
Direct
SDG 8 - Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all 
Indirect
SDG 9 - Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation, and foster innovation 
Indirect
SDG 10 - Reduce inequality within and among countries 
Indirect
SDG 11 - Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable 
Direct
SDG 12 - Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns 
Direct
SDG 13 - Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts 
Direct
SDG 14 - Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development 
Indirect
SDG 15 - Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification and halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss 
Direct
SDG 16 - Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels 
Direct
SDG 17 - Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development 
Direct
Theme
Disaster Risk Reduction 
Direct
Traditional Knowledge  
Direct
Agriculture 
Indirect
Arts 
Direct
Curriculum Development 
Indirect
Ecotourism 
Direct
Forests/Trees 
Direct
Plants & Animals 
Direct
Waste 
Direct
Global Action Programme (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development – Priority Action Areas
Priority Action Area 1 - Advancing policy 
Direct
Priority Action Area 2 - Transforming learning and training environments 
Direct
Priority Action Area 3 - Building capacities of educators and trainers 
Direct
Priority Action Area 4 - Empowering and mobilizing youth 
Direct
Priority Action Area 5 - Accelerating sustainable solutions at local level 
Direct