Girish Agrawal is climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro for Indian sanitation (CNW Group/Agrawal Associates Private Wealth Management)
CALGARY, Feb. 10, 2016 /CNW/ – It’s not the most pleasant topic to discuss, but it’s a topic Girish Agrawal hopes people will listen to. Girish grew up in India and experienced serious poverty in his childhood. Now a successful Calgary business owner and a Top 40 Under 40 (Avenue Magazine), he wants to help the community he once called home.
The topic is sanitation. In India, 2/3 of schools do not have proper sanitation, which means children and teachers have no toilets and no washing facilities. They must go out, in the open, to “do their business”. The lack of facilities to defecate and urinate means children are continually at risk of disease and harassment. The indignity of having to go out, in the open, is also enough to prevent many adolescent girls from even attending school.
Girish is launching Summit For Dignity, an initiative to raise $250,000 by climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, in Tanzania, which he will do on February 29 if all goes as planned. It has been an intense period of training for Girish, who admits he’s not an athlete.
“I was never involved in sports. I was involved in studies. So, to strength-train and do aerobics is something that is not part of who I usually am. But, I know I must do this to succeed in the climb. In the process, I hope to raise $250,000 that will help to bring dignity to children in India.” Girish stresses that his trip is self-funded. All donations go to Summit For Dignity.
Girish has partnered with The Aga Khan Development Network, a non-profit international agency that supports social development programs in Asia and Africa. The AKDN has initiated a $35 million dollar program, in partnership with the Government of India, to support the construction of over 100,000 household toilets, 528 school toilet blocks and 26 community toilet complexes. In total, this initiative will bring proper sanitation to 700,000 people.
“In India, it costs just $50 to provide a sanitized life for one human being. $3,000 provides sanitation for an entire school.” Girish believes that, despite the present economic situation, people will find it in them to give.
People can donate through the Summit For Dignity Facebook page and through the Aga Khan Development Network at akfcnetcommunity.ca/netcommunity/diy/2015/girish-agrawal
All donations are 100% tax deductible. 100% of the money raised goes to AKDN.
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