8 lakh people participate in Art of Living's drive against poverty

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Ahmedabad, Oct 18 (UNI) More than eight lakh people from Gujarat took pledge to eradicate poverty as part of a joint initiative - 'Stand Up and Speak Out', launched by the Art of Living and United Nations Millennium Campaign (UNMC).

''Yesterday, in more than 100 countries, at different public awareness programmes organised by the Art of Living, people from different sections of the society took pledge to eradicate poverty.

All over Gujarat, in more than 25 cities, around 750 'Stand Up' events were held,'' an Art of Living spokesperson told UNI.

''Guinness Book of World Records has officially verified that with this, a world record has been set for most number of people standing up for the same cause at multiple locations in 24 hours,'' the spokesperson said.

''In Ahmedabad, at 72 different events, more than one lakh people took the pledge and approximately 250 people participated in a rally organised by the Art of Living Ahmedabad Centre,'' the spokesperson informed.

''In Vadodara, at 25 different events, approximately 1,16,000 people participated in the initiative. In Surat, at 240 different programmes, approximately 2.5 lakh people took the pledge and similarly in Rajkot, in more than 300 programmes, around four lakh people took the pledge,'' the spokesperson added.

In his message to eradicate poverty, Art of Living Founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said, ''All the nations of the world have come together and have set up eight millennium development goals and it will remain just a dream, if you don't stand up and participate. We all have to come together to eradicate poverty, to provide primary education, health and hygiene and to care for the environment to make this world a beautiful place to live.'' Yesterday's events were a follow up of an alliance finalised in May 2007 between the Art of Living and UNMC under which Sri Sri Ravi Shankar had pledged to support UNMC's initiatives to realise the millennium development goals of eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, achieving universal primary education, promoting gender equality and empowering women, reducing child mortality, improving maternal health, combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, ensuring environmental sustainability and developing a global partnership for development.

UNI

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