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'Times Are a-Changin', says Modi at Colors' GCF via live stream; US$ 3.4bn commitment received

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MUMBAI: The Global Citizen Festival India, presented by Colors Viacom18 and Venky’s, called upon governments, and leaders, who made commitments to achieving the sustainable development goals. At the GCF took place for the first time at the MMRDA Grounds, Bandra-Kurla Complex, Mumbai, on 19 November.

In all, 25 commitments and announcements were made by policymakers which will impact over 50 crore people with an investment of US$3.37 billion (INR 22,940 crore)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, via a live video stream, addressed the crowd before the English Music band Coldplay performed. Modi quoted lines from Nobel Laureate Bob Dylan's iconic "The Times They Are a-Changin" to make a veiled reference to the political situation in the country in the backdrop of demonetisation. "I'm convinced we can and we will build a Swachh Bharat free of all forms of filth within one generation," he said.

HP committed to provide 48 mobile classrooms, investing US$3.6 million to result in 15 million people in rural areas of India getting access to quality education and technology over six years . Toilet Board Coalition committed US$ 15 million over three years to help 130 million people gain improved access to sanitation and hygiene. IDFC Bank committed to provide 200,000 micro finance loans for water and sanitation, worth INR 200 crore (US$29.4 million) to reach 450,000 people by the end of 2019.

Other GCF partners included BookMyShow, Rishtey Cineplex, Voot and Radio Mirchi.

In two months since the launch of the Global Citizen India movement, more than five lakh young Global Citizens in India took more than 20 lakh actions calling on political, faith and business leaders, along with celebrities, to be more accountable in their efforts to improve education, gender equality and water, sanitation and hygiene in India.

Global Citizen CEO Hugh Evans said: “Tonight, we saw dozens of commitments that will impact the lives of 500m people." Global Education and Leadership Foundation CEO Gowri Ishwaran said: “Today’s Global Citizen Festival India brought together 70,000 young people who made their voices heard by leaders from private industry, government, non-governmental, community and religious organisations on the issues that matter: Sanitation, Education and Gender Equality."

GENDER EQUALITY: Global Citizens took 518,000 actions in support of investing in girls and women to achieve gender equality. These efforts secured four commitments that are set to affect the lives of more than for two million women, including the International Finance Corporation Banking on Women Group committing USD$ 2 billion towards banking on women and promoting women entrepreneurship by end 2019. This includes a US$100 million investment in India.

QUALITY EDUCATION: Global Citizens took 265,000 actions. In response, six commitments were secured, including HP committing to provide 48 mobile classrooms, investing US$3.6 million to result in 15 million people in rural areas of India getting access to quality education and technology over six years.

WATER, SANITATION AND HYGIENE: Global Citizens took 651,000 actions, securing 11 commitments and announcements that are set to affect the lives of 486 million people

GCF India, powered by UPL and NECC, was hosted by the Government of Maharashtra and produced by Wizcraft International. Other partners included: the United Nations, the Times of India Group, Google, Hindustan Unilever, Ola, Spykar, Make My Trip and Taj Group of Hotels.

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