Hello, world!! Climate change is an undeniable truth with far-reaching ends. NASA, the National Academy of Sciences and every major scientific organization recognizes this. Indeed, 97% of climate scientists worldwide agree that climate change is real and driven by human activity. In the scientific world, that is the consensus.
In September 2019, Secretary-General António Guterres will convene a Climate Summit to bring world leaders of governments, the private sector and civil society together to support the multilateral process and to increase and accelerate climate action and ambition. He has named Luis Alfonso de Alba, a former Mexican diplomat, as his Special Envoy to lead its preparations. The Summit will focus on key sectors where action can make the most difference—heavy industry, nature-based solutions, cities, energy, resilience, and climate finance. World leaders will report on what they are doing, and what more they intend to do when they convene in 2020 for the UN climate conference, where commitments will be renewed and may be increased.
The past few weeks have certainly seen some interesting developments in the Khudai Khidmatgar organisation. What started with close to 50 members, eight years ago on January 20, 2011, on Frontier Gandhi’s death anniversary—this registered trust now has almost 25,000 members, strong and growing with every passing day. On January 20, 2011, on the occasion of Frontier Gandhi’s 23rd death anniversary, 50 volunteers under the leadership of Faisal Khan, took the initiative of reviving Khudai Khidmatgar, by taking the oath to serve the humanity without seeking any worldly desire.
Faisal Khan, a Gandhian, is a grassroots activist attached with National Alliance for People’s Movement (NAPM). He has revived the “Khudai Khidmatgar” (Servants of God’s Creation), an idea which has at present caught the imagination of the entire country. Khudai Khidmatgar (KK) was a movement started by Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, well known as Frontier Gandhi, in the 1930s to fight British rule through Satyagraha (Non-Violent struggles).
In the past years, KK has played a crucial role in stimulating communal harmony. The organisation has also worked for peacekeeping and rehabilitation practices in various fields and cases. More recently, Khudai Khidmatgar made an important contribution towards women empowerment in the region of Mewat, Haryana by starting a vocational centre on March 15, 2017. But with each passing day, issues have multiplied manifolds.
The organisation has started one of its kind of “Climate Therapy”. To everyone’s question, “What a single life is worth”, the members of KK unanimously declare, “it is capable of uplifting another”. The two most novel movements started by KK have been the “Sadbhaavna Plantation Drive” which goes with the theme TreeForHarmony. The backdrop of the whole idea goes by saying that each sapling/tree denotes a hope, life and something beyond. A tree planted by an individual is hope for harmony and brotherhood. As it is well said by Rabindranath Tagore, “The one who plants trees, knowing that he will never sit in their shade, has at least started to understand the meaning of life.”
The Drive kickstarted from the Southern parts of India and has reached the Northern states now. People’s participation not only shows their zeal for the environment but also how empathy works. The second novel step in this direction was the #BooksForAll campaign. KK has received textbooks, novels and competitive exam preparation materials from people with diverse backgrounds. If anyone wants to contribute to this campaign, then one must note that KK is initiating two targeted plans:
Following the 3Rs: Recycle, Reduce and Reuse, KK is trying to contribute to the circular economy by continual use of resources. It is, therefore, a pressing need today that regardless of the ideologies, vision and mission, Self Help Groups, NGOs and Community service centres should share a common concern for the environment. As Gandhiji has very aptly said, “There is enough for everyone’s need, but not everyone’s greed”. Let’s rise above hate and gear up in our own ways to serve each other and spread ripples of empathy.