In a first of its kind symbolic efforts at the United Nations by India, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate 50KW “Gandhi Solar Park” in the coming week during his visit to the United Nations General Assembly Session, a gesture that highlights the willingness of India to go beyond the discussion on climate change. 

At a contribution of around one million dollars, India has gifted ‘solar panels’ that have been installed on the roof-top of the United Nations Headquarters in New York, one panel each for every 193 United Nations Member State. 

He will remotely unveil the ‘Gandhi Solar Park’ and the ‘Gandhi Peace Garden’ during a special celebratory event on September 24, to marks Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birthday on October 2. On the event, a special UN Postage will also be released.

‘Gandhi Peace Garen’ is an innovative vision under which the Consulate General of India in New York, the State University of New York – Old Westbury, and Long Island-based NGO Shanti Fund have entered into a deal to plant around 150 trees. 

The garden is devoted to the memory of Mahatma Gandhi, which is a crowdsourced project, with people adopting trees in the memory of their beloved. The garden is set in an open site within the 600-acres campus of the University. 

Indian Permanent Representative of the United Nations, Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin told sources that the engagement of India during the high-level UNGA Session will be action-oriented and with visible outcomes, for instance- Solar Park. 

Mr. Akbaruddin said, “Never has there been a symbolic Indian effort at the UN, of a tangible nature, which impacts on every country of the type that the Gandhi Solar Park is going to be. The UN always talks about renewable energy, it always talks about climate action, climate change. By this small effort that we’ve made, we symbolize our willingness to go beyond the talk.”

The solar panels are powered up to reach a maximum of 50 KW of generation power. He continued that energy has generated in the park is equal to the energy that has been produced via the use of 30000 kilograms of coal, which has carbon sequestration of 1000 seedlings and will grow into trees around 10-years.  

He said, “It is the first attempt. It is an effort where we reflect all 193 countries because there are 193 panels there. Each one for one country, we not only believe in solar power, but we believe in equality too.”

On September 24, PM Modi will host a special event “Leadership Matters: Relevance of Gandhi in the Contemporary World” in the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Chamber in the UN Headquarters, to celebrate 150th birthday of Gandhi ji. 

“For the first time, we are having an Indian icon celebrated at the UN. The idea is that to try and contextualize Mahatma Gandhi’s approach in a more broad, international context of today. So it will be focused on leadership matters.”

South Korean President Moon Jae-in, the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Singapore Prime Minister M Lee Hsien Loong, and Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness will address the special event and deliver speeches on their leadership challenges and how in this contemporary world, the values of Gandhi ji have inspired all of them they have overcomes in their political career. 

PM Modi will also be offered with the 2019 Global Goalkeeper Award by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on September 24.

The ambitious mission objects to accelerate the efforts to achieve universal sanitation coverage in the nation by this year as a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th birthday. 

Till date, around 90 million toilets have been developed across India to stop defecation by October 2 and presently 98 percent of villages have rural sanitation coverage instead of 38 percent five years ago.

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