On 25th of September, 2015, in a summit attended by over 150 nations the game-changing 2030 Global agenda came to be formally adopted. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a part of this global agenda. They are set of 17 goals that are created to cater to the challenges that the world is facing at social, economic, and environmental levels. The vision is to make the world a better place to live for the present generations and to leave the world as better for the generations to come, by 2030. Human needs are unlimited, but the resources aren’t. Poverty, human development, the environment, and social justice are the key focus areas of SDGs. . Amid the growing scarcity and the increasing demand, the idea is to Sustain!
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) promotes inclusiveness in the very nature of its creation. It ensures the participation and involvement of various multi-faceted elements that play a key role in the positive and healthy functioning of the world as one global entity. The United Nations in its document “Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” recommends the involvement of everybody – Government, Businesses, Communities, Education, in making SDGs a reality.
India and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
The year 2020 marks the 5th Anniversary of SDGs, when it was adopted by 193 countries at the Un General Assembly.
Like all other global endeavours, India has taken a lead in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals target of 2030. The National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog) has developed a Sustainable Goals Development (SDG) Index in collaboration with the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI), United Nations, and the Global Green Growth Institute.
The index is created in order to measure the progress of our country in keeping up with the goals given by the United Nations. The Index formulates parameters based on 13 goals out of the 17 (excluding goals 12, 1, 14, 17), given by the UN.
According to SDG 2.0 – the second edition of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) India Index 2019-2020, Kerala has topped the Index with a score of 70 points, followed by Himachal Pradesh scoring 69! The state of Bihar turned out to be the worst performer with 50 points. India on the global scale has shown a remarkable improvement in Water and Sanitation, as well as in the Industrial sector. However, the deep concerns regarding Nutrition and Gender Equality persist.
The Pandemic Effect
The global corona-virus pandemic has put the globe through a furnace of challenges. It has aggravated the already flaming crisis, and reversed the hard achieved developments, and progress on the pathway of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Below are some of the eye-opening facts with regard to the latest estimates as in the context of the COVID-19 Pandemic:
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the first ever increase in 20 years, in the global poverty rate. It is estimated that the pandemic impoverished over 71 million “additional” people of the world population. It doesn’t stop there. Poverty and Hunger are related right at the roots. The increasing poverty will leave more people hungry, and thus mal-nourished. The vicious cycle thus threatens the global target of achieving SDGs of NO Poverty and Zero Hunger by 2030.
The pandemic has also resulted in an increasing number of children dropping out of schools, especially in developing and under-developed countries. The education of a poor child is at stake. As a consequence, the lack of quality education will kill the employment eligibility of the youth in future, thus putting at stake the Sustainable Development Goal of Economic Growth.
Health is the basic necessity of living. While the pandemic has worsened the situations already, there is an estimated requirement of about 18 million health workers, primarily in lower income countries, for us to achieve a global Good Health and Well-being goal by 2030.
Warned and Wise
Well, the stark realities of the present show to us, a disappointing status of ours as a World. The creation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was to channelize the world’s intentions, and give them an impetus in making the world a better place for the existing, and the next. However, there is a lot to be achieved. We as global citizens have a long way to go to live, and leave a better planet behind. The moment reminds me of the quote by Mahatma Gandhi, which says, “The world has enough for everyone’s needs, but not everyone’s greed.” The passing time is a wake-up call. Let us be Warned and Wise. After all, goals are good when set, better when progressed, and best when achieved!