“This is My Street” in India

The next phase of Child Health Initiative’s This Is My Street campaign kicked off in India this month, with a Raahgiri Day in Gurugram, in collaboration with the World Resources Institute India Ross Center for Sustainable Cities (WRI) and the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health (PMNCH). Raahgiri Day is a car-free day where almost five kilometers of roads are closed to enable residents and community groups to use them for recreational use, to run activities, and to promote the sustainable urban development agenda. The name Raahgiri brings together two ideas: raah refers to a path or journey toward a final goal, and Gandhigiri is a colloquial adaptation of Mahatma Gandhi’s nonviolence techniques. At the event, Avi Silverman, FIA Foundation; Helga Fogstad, PMNCH; and Sarika Panda Bhatt, Head, WRI called for cross-sectoral action to tackle the health threats of air pollution, road traffic injury, and an unsafe environment faced by young people. Read more HERE.

Child Health Initiative continued its campaign activity in Delhi at the Partners Forum for maternal, newborn, and child health, held 12–13 December 2018. It co-led a session calling for increased global action on adolescent health. The session panel also involved ministers, development agencies, and civil society experts, including Bright Oywaya, of Alliance member ASIRT Kenya. Following the session, youth advocates from countries around the world signed up for Child Health Initiative’s “This Is My Street” campaign and called for a global adolescent health summit.

The “My Street” campaign calls for the rights of all children around the world to:

  1. Use safe roads and streets without threat to life or health 
  2. Breathe clean air
  3. Access education without risk of injury
  4. Explore the world in safety
  5. Use streets free from violence
  6. Be heard.

Specifically it is asking for: 

  • A first ever UN special summit on child and adolescent health, to raise visibility, build political commitment, and deliver action and resources for neglected areas of public health
  • A global commission on road traffic-related child health issues, to coordinate a response and report urgently to the UN Secretary General
  • Specific indicators and funding for road traffic–related health policies and solutions within “Every Woman, Every Child,” the UN’s global strategy for child and adolescent health
  • Joint action with climate funds, to scale up “healthy streets” policies designed to enable safe walking and cycling, improve air quality, and reduce carbon emissions

These requests draw on the experiences had addressing other public health issues, such as AIDS/HIV, where similar UN-level actions were instrumental in building political will and financial commitment. 

You can sign up for the campaign and find a toolkit for NGOs and other organizations looking to promote safe and healthy streets HERE.