A year-long march for justice and peace begins today in New Delhi, marking the 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s birth. The march, called Jai Jagat ('one planet, all people'), will end in Geneva in September 2020, having travelled through 13 countries.
Organised by Christian Aid’s partner Ekta Parishad, a non-violent Indian movement for civil and economic rights, Jai Jagat aims to connect with people’s movements around the world. It will pressure world leaders to make progress on eradicating poverty, eliminating social exclusion, stopping the climate crisis and halting conflict and violence. It is calling for peace between people and nations, and peace between people and the environment.
Current projections show that we are not on track to meet Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).The world’s most marginalised people remain trapped in poverty, and vulnerable to the devastating impacts of climate change which threaten to undo any progress made on poverty reduction. Many are also suffering the effects of conflict and displacement.
Ekta Parishad has emerged in response to these deepening economic, social and environmental inequalities, and aims to build a global peace movement. Jai Jagat is engaging marginalised communities and grassroots movements to urge decision-makers to deliver the SDGs for all and ensure people-led development. As it progresses across Asia and into Europe, people along the route will join it to present evidence related to the SDGs, bringing stories of the causes of poverty and inequality to the global stage.
Jai Jagat follows on from the success of a 300km march from Gwalior to Delhi in 2012. Nearly 60,000 people, mainly Dalits and tribal Indians, marched to call on the Indian government to guarantee access to land and livelihoods for all, irrespective of wealth or caste. Eight days into the march, the government agreed to their demands, highlighting the power of non-violent action and the power of people and communities to pressure decision-makers and demand change.
Today, Christian Aid’s regional coordinator Kate Ormerod will attend a UK launch event for Jai Jagat in Birmingham to show Christian Aid’s support to the movement. You can follow the Jai Jagat on Facebook and Instagram, and show your support by joining the movement.