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Youth leaders from across the world join hands to find sustainable safe water solutions for all

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New Delhi (Feb. 02, 2015): The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) today organized the two-day ‘YUVA Meet 2015’, where eminent experts, including youth in large numbers, deliberated on the theme ‘Sustainable Solutions: Safe Water for All’ . The YUVA (Youth Unite for Voluntary Action) Meet has been held annually since 2009, and has brought together young people from various parts of the world to find sustainable solutions to key developmental problems. Previous YUVA Meets have witnessed the participation of youth from not just states across India, but also from over 25 countries.

The YUVA Meet is a special event of the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit (DSDS) and is held prior to DSDS so that the voices of the youth can be heard at this major international forum. The DSDS is the annual flagship event of TERI, and the landmark 15th edition of the Summit will be held in New Delhi from February 5 to 7, 2015. YUVA Meets have received the support from the Government of India, the Delhi Government, British Council, RCE Network, United Nations University IAS, Tetra Pak India Pvt. Ltd. and Dell Global Giving.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr R K Pachauri, Director General, TERI, said: “YUVA 2015 represents a unique opportunity to highlight two important issues. First, with the historically high number of people under the age of 25 years in this country today, it is essential that the priorities and concerns of the next generation be reflected in policies and plans that we follow at the national level and actions that are taken across the country. This is something that the youth in India will have to articulate and get engaged in. Secondly, water is a subject which is at the top of challenges that India, and indeed the world, would be confronting in the years ahead. There are growing stresses on water resources in many parts of the world and these are likely to be exacerbated by climate change. YUVA 2015 will focus on this important resource and its management, and will have the youth of India define actions that need to be taken in hand to create a water secure future for humanity and this country.”

Said Mr Rajeev Gupta, Secretary, Department of Youth Affairs, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India: “Water for all has many aspects – cleanliness of rivers requires development and management. We need a behavioral change to address the issue of waste disposal. The government is doing its bit, but society has a major role to play to achieve success. Enlightening the youth is a great mission to ensure safe water for all.”

Said Mr Richard Everitt, Director Education, British Council India: “Water security is a critical issue. India has one of the largest young populations in the world. We need to address the youth as leaders of the future. Social entrepreneurs are working in this area and they have the capacity to tackle the problem.”

Said Ms Ranjana Saikia, Director, Educating Youth for Sustainable Development Division, TERI: “The journey of YUVA has been fascinating… In 2010, we had the first group of international participants. And this year, we held a series of seminars across seven states in India focusing on water as a sustainable solution for all. The British Council and the Ministry of Urban Development have extended their support for this initiative.”