Dawoodi Bohras around the world today welcomed the initiative of the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, to prioritise the need to reduce plastic pollution, eradicate malnutrition, and improve sanitation. The Bohra faith places great importance on protecting and enhancing the natural environment, helping those less fortunate, and improving personal health and hygiene. These are just some of the values that the Head of the Dawoodi Bohra community – His Holiness Dr Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin – counsels his followers to practice on a daily basis as part of their faith. For Bohras all around the world, such a commitment requires undertaking practical work to make a difference. For example:
- Project Rise – a Dawoodi Bohra initiative established to improve the lives of those in poverty – is working with various local organisations to help alleviate hunger in some of the poorest parts of India. For instance, in Maharashtra the community is partnering with ANNADA to raise health and nutrition levels of children suffering from severe malnutrition in slums and tribal areas.
- Together with United Nations Champion of the Earth, Afroz Shah, the Bohras’ Turning the Tide campaign is removing plastic from oceans, rivers and beaches. Besides inspiring youngsters to drive change, every weekend, Bohra men, women and students help to clean-up the Mithi river and Dana Pani beach in Mumbai. The community also strived to reduce plastic waste and eliminate food waste during its annual Ashara Mubaraka congregation last month, which drew 27,000 Bohras to Sri Lanka.
- Bohras of Mumbai recently supported the Bare Necessities exhibition highlighting the need to make toilets widely available for use and to prevent the dangers associated with open defecation. As part of this program, the Bohras will also look at providing adequate sanitation requirements in areas that need them most.
Ammar Tyebkhan of the Dawoodi Bohra community said, ‘As we celebrate the anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi, it is fitting that we are joining Prime Minister Modi in highlighting ways to help disenfranchised and poor members of society and to protect our environment. In very practical terms, the Bohras are working hard to help eradicate plastic pollution in our waterways, end malnutrition, and increase the availability of toilets.’
‘These UN Sustainability Goals are issues that are close to the hearts of all members of the Bohra faith, wherever they live in the world.’ Tyebkhan added.
Many of the values at the core of the Bohra faith – including eradicating poverty and hunger, improving health and education, gender equality, avoiding waste, and preserving the natural environment – align very closely with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. For centuries, Bohras around the world have been living their daily lives according to these principles, regularly taking practical action to support members of society who most need help.
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