July 20, 2016:Saumya Sanesha reads a headline in one of the local newspapers which says, “Worst dengue outbreak in Sri Lanka; 298 deaths.” As she heads out the door, she thinks about the importance her day’s assignment and all the people in her community whose lives are at risk.

Saumya, 16, is a Junior Red Cross Circle member in Gampaha District, one of the areas hardest hit by a spiralling dengue outbreak in Sri Lanka. She has volunteered to be part of a Sri Lanka Red Cross Society team that will join government public health inspectors to scout for breeding sites of mosquitoes that carry the dengue virus.

She’ll also be explaining to villagers how to prevent the spread of the disease. “Going door to door and informing people about how to keep their homes and environments free of dengue is so crucial right now,” says Saumya.

Dengue is endemic in Sri Lanka, but the number of people infected in less than seven months of this year is already almost double the number of cases that were reported in all of 2016.
The government of Sri Lanka is leading a nationwide effort to clear communities of mosquito breeding sites, educate the public on how to be safe and expand health services for dengue patients.

The Sri Lanka Red Cross is supporting all components of the programme and Saumya and other youth volunteers are an important part of the response. Photo and Text: Mahieash/IFRC
June 7, 2017: Antarctica is the southernmost continent that holds 90% of the world’s ice and 70% of the world’s fresh water. However, warming in Antarctica has led to rapid deglaciation that is increasing the sea levels by about 1 to 2 millimeters each year. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the global sea level has risen between four and eight inches (10 and 20 centimeters) in the past hundred years.

According to data collected by NASA, Antarctica has been losing more than a hundred cubic kilometers (24 cubic miles) of ice each year since 2002 and if all this ice is melts, it would raise the global sea level by about 60 meters or 197 feet. The disintegration of ice shelf, which is another cause of melting of glaciers, was caught by NASA satellites in 2010 and showed how it took just three weeks to crumble a 12,000-year old ice shelf.

‘Leadership on the Edge Programme’, conducted by Robert Swan, is one of the few ventures that brings together those individuals who are dedicated to make a difference by increasing their awareness on issues such as climate change. The purpose of this annual expedition is to study the change in climate in recent years and the impact of the melting glaciers on the rising sea levels. In 2017, Akanksha Sharma, a CSR expert and an environmentalist was selected to represent India and to be among 80 leaders worldwide for the Antarctic Expedition.

The 13 day expedition that started from Ushuaia, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world, integrated a variety of lectures and skill building activities to educate the travelers about Antarctica’s the climate, geography and wildlife as well as the challenges to be faced in the expedition. Photo: Akanksha Sharma. Text: Srishti Kapur
May 16, 2017: Various hospitals and healthcare facilities along with medical and nurses colleges across the country organised series of programmes to celebrate the International Nurses Day 2017.

Bhagwan Mahaveer Cancer Hospital & Research Centre (BMCHRC) in the west Indian state of Rajasthan celebrated the day as a carnival with poster competition on ‘balancing body, mind and soul’ followed by a lecture of nursing foundation and a quiz competition. Nursing teams also presented various entertainment sequences including dance, drama and comedy.

The nursing staff and nursing students also took the pledge to serve the patients following the footsteps of Florence Nightingale. It was in January 1974, when May 12 was chosen to celebrate the day as it is the anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing. Representative Photo: Ashok Kumar/OneWorld South Asia
May 15, 2017: Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) an Indian government JV enterprise and South Delhi Municipal Corporation are running the world’s largest Street Light Replacement Programme (SLRP). The SLRP programme was dedicated to the nation early this year by India’s Minister of Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines.

The SLNP programme is presently running in Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Tripura, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Goa, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan. A total of 15.59 lakh street lights have already been replaced in the country with LED bulbs, which is resulting in energy savings of 20.66 crore kWh, avoiding capacity of 51.47 MW and reducing 1.71 lakh tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per annum.

The energy efficiency market in India is estimated at US$ 12 billion that can potentially result in energy savings of up to 20 per cent of current consumption, by way of innovative business and implementation models. Photo: Ashok Kumar/OneWorld South Asia
April 26, 2017: The United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), a community of global leaders committed to sustainability, today launched a global opportunity explorer in New Delhi.

The explorer is said to be the world’s largest digital platform that provides the global business community with direct access to business solutions around the SDGs. It also aims to connect business leaders, entrepreneurs and investors with new partners, projects, markets and talents to deliver on the SDGs.

Santosh Kumar Gangwar, India’s Minister of State for Finance, said that India has taken bold steps in the pursuit of SDGs. “The Indian government has taken bold initiatives in the last three years so as to translate our commitment to SGDs. Our visionary leader Narendra Modi is working tirelessly to achieve SDGs by 2030 in a big way,” he said.

Santosh Kumar Gangwar is pictured with Lise Kingo, CEO and Executive Director, UNGC. Text: OneWorld South Asia
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