The word yoga means "unite" in Sanskrit, and the Indian government hopes that the ancient practice will help United Nations member states to work together to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Sunita Pal, a frail 17-year-old, lies in a tiny bed in the women’s ward of New Delhi’s Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital. Her face and head swathed in bandages, with only a bruised eye and swollen lips visible, the girl recounts her ordeal to a TV channel propped up by a pillow. She talks of her employers beating her with a stick every day, depriving her of food and threatening to kill her if she dared report her misery to anybody.
The recent launch of Amaara, New Delhi's first human milk bank, has been greeted with much cheering. The initiative endorses the long-term goal of reducing infant mortality and addresses the critical issue of lack of mothers' milk for physically fragile newborns in India's capital city.
After the sea swallowed up her home and family in the Bangladeshi coastal district of Bhola along the Bay of Bengal, farmer Sanjeela Sheikh was heartbroken. Stripped of all her belongings, her fields swamped and her loved ones dead, she contemplated suicide.
Trudging barefoot on his two-acre piece of land, 57-year-old Mukhtar Ahmad has little hope of growing any crops this year due to the sudden dry spell that has struck Kashmir’s winter.
A staggering 330 million Indians, making up a quarter of the country's population (or roughly the entire population of the United States), are currently reeling under the effects of a severe drought, resulting in an acute drinking water shortage and agricultural distress.
The Paris climate change agreement adopted at the end of 2015 has put renewable energy at the heart of global energy system with investments expected to grow further even amidst the decline in fossil fuels.
The rich and the powerful, who meet every year at the World Economic Forum (WEF), were in a gloomy mood this time. Not only because the day they met close to eight trillion dollars has been wiped off global equity markets by a "correction". But because no leader could be in a buoyant mood.
Civil rights groups and child welfare activists have strongly protested against the enactment of a new Juvenile Justice Act by the Indian parliament, lowering the age of a legally defined juvenile for trial from 18 to 16- years old in heinous crimes cases.
Though the state of Karnataka in India counts for a higher Human Development Index of 0.478 against the national average of 0.472 in the subcontinent, the continued deficit in water and sanitation continues and the children there are bearing the brunt of the lack of infrastructure.
Women constitute nearly half of the country's 1.25 billion people and gender equality -- whether in politics, economics, education or health -- is still a distant dream for most. This fact was driven home again sharply by the recently released United National Development Programme’s Human Development Report (HDR) 2015 which ranks India at a lowly 130 out of 155 countries in the Gender Inequality Index (GII). India trails behind most Asian countries, including lesser developed Bangladesh and Pakistan which rank 111 and 121 respectively, and fares not much ahead of war-ravaged Afghanistan at 152.
The US once led the post-war global effort against hunger and food insecurity, but corporate influence on government trade negotiators now seek to prevent other countries from using some of the very measures it pioneered.
Jeeja Behera, 34, the wife of a fisherman in the village of Sannapatna in India’s cyclone prone Puri district, dreads the onset of the cyclone season between October and January every year due to the lack of water, sanitation and hygiene in cyclone shelters.
“If you look at the submitted Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs, the national commitments to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 2030) by over 150 countries, most have announced mitigation-centric targets, whereas climate change is also about adaptation. India is among the few that has given a comprehensive INDC,” Ashok Lavasa, a key official of India’s Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and part of its COP21 team at Paris, told IPS.
Already 15 million people are accessing life-saving HIV treatment, according to UNAIDS. New HIV infections have been reduced by 35 per cent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths have been reduced by 42 per cent since the peak in 2004.