The Civil Society Organisations working on SDGs have prepared a report to highlight the status of SDGs in India. The report, Civil Society Report on SDGs : Agenda 2030, focuses on ten goals and is prepared by a large number of civil society organisations and networks through desk research and consultations with local communities, particularly the marginalised communities.
The civil society representatives highlighted various challenges that could have a bearing on the success of SDGs in the country. Some of the challenges like most schools in India not yet being compliant to the Right To Education Act, the pending Women’s Reservation Bill and the provision of clean water not reaching the last mile person were also highlighted from the newly launched report.
Talking about the progress on SDGs, Yuri Afanasiev, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in India, noted that a lot of Indian states in India were embracing the SDGs’ framework more actively compared to the past. Highlighting about the challenge in measuring success of SDGs, Yuri said that tracking the success of goals is a challenging task. “ We don’t really know how to measure all the goals,” he added.
With the main focus on the theme ‘Leave No One Behind’ and ‘A Life of Dignity for All’, civil society presented a shadow report on SDGs in the run up to India submitting its Voluntary Nation Review Report at the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF), New York, in July 2017. Revealing its findings on third year of Modi's governance, the report documents the progress achieved so far in reducing poverty, increasing standards of education and other parameters of the development.
The civil society organizations also have been regularly engaged in popularising, monitoring and advocacy of the SDGs. Therefore, Wada NaTodo Abhiyan along with the larger Civil Society organisations has released a shadow report on SDGs.
Amitabh Behar, Executive Director, National Foundation for India, regretted that there was no way to measure the progress of SDGs. He added that SDGs are not social goals but are a result of social, economic and development framework. Behar said that empowering people by ensuring equality still remains a challenge. “If one per cent holds 58 per crent of country's growth, how can we think of leaving no one behind,” he said.
Citing an example of Malkangiri, where 150 tribals have been reported to have died due to hunger and malnutrition, he said that the civil society in India was going through difficult times. “The space of dialogue is shrinking along with the space of debate and dissent under the current regime,” he said.
Photo by- Ashok Kumar/ OneWorld South Asia