Vidyasagar had anticipated MDGs 150 years ago: India to UN
Kolkata: The Millenium Development Goals could be seen in the light of the ideals of reformist Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, Trinamool Congress MP Derek O`Brien told the 67th session of the UN General Assembly.
Vidyasagar`s philosophy anticipated the enlightenment of the MDGs, which represent the most cherished chapter of multilateralism, Derek who represented India at the session said.
He described Vidyasagar as one of the foremost minds of 19th century Bengal, a pioneer of modern India and among the country`s great champions of gender equality, female emancipation and girls` education.
Quoting him, Derek said, "How sad! The country, whose male population is unkind, unreligious and unaware of the distinction between the good and the evil and don`t care about justice and fairness and where abiding the rituals is the chief preoccupation of religion, should not give birth to girls!"
The MP said "The unfinished agenda of the MDGs must find a pivotal place in our work ahead. An inclusive post-2015 development agenda can only be built if equity and poverty eradication remain its defining contours."
With just three years to go to the MDG`s finish line, Derek said the task at hand remained a daunting one.
"More than a billion people in developing countries continue to live in extreme poverty, hunger and hopeless desperation. We need to do much more," he stressed.
Stating that India has pursued the path of inclusive growth for achieving poverty eradication, the MP said that poverty has been brought down significantly as compared to the 1990 levels.
"But we continue to be challenged by more than 300 million people living below the poverty line of USD 1.25 a day," Derek said, adding that it in primary education, India achieved a near 100 per cent enrolment.
A copy of his speech was made available to the media today.
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