New Delhi – During the week of June 30, Chris Martin, the lead singer of the band Coldplay, visited India as an ambassador for the Global Poverty Project. While he was there, Martin performed an impromptu concert at the Summerhouse Café in New Delhi. He also met with politicians (including India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi) and ambassadors from other NGOs, visited the Kalyanpuri slum in Delhi and the people of Madanpur Khadar, and discussed sanitation projects with Delhi’s chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal.
Martin has worked to help end poverty before. In February 2015, he committed to curating the Global Citizen festival for the next fifteen years. The Global Citizen festival is an event that raises money which goes toward abolishing extreme poverty. Previous participants of the festival include Alicia Keys, Fun and Stevie Wonder. The festival aims to promote the 17 Sustainable Development Goals that the UN hopes to achieve by 2030.
Some of those goals include ending poverty in all forms everywhere, achieving gender equality, reducing inequality within and among countries and ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. Martin believes that he can help advocate for the goals by finding noticeable people to promote them, saying, “As long as you ask Beyoncé to say one of them [a goal]and Kofi Annan to say another one, it becomes something that kids talk about.”
Martin’s visit to India was part of the goal of ending poverty. The group Martin is an ambassador for, The Global Poverty Project, is working to end extreme poverty (living on less than $1.25 a day) by 2030. According to their website, The Global Poverty Project uses four methods in order to end extreme poverty: designing and hosting campaigns on critical issues, channeling the voices and actions of Global Citizens, building the movement of Global Citizens to end extreme poverty and convening partners and disruptive events in order to capitalize on influential moments and key people. The Global Poverty Project is also in charge of the Global Citizen festival which Martin is curating.
The slum Martin visited in India is the Kalyanpuri slum, one of the worst slums in Delhi, in which there are about 5,000 families. Lack of hygiene and a lack of proper sanitation are huge problems in the slum, as there are not enough toilets for the amount of people. The people in the slums also face problems with malnourishment, especially the children, a third of which are malnourished. The people are not able to leave the slum because of problems with unemployment and low literacy rates and education levels.
Martin also visited the people of Madanpur Khadar. The main source of their income is picking up trash, as they are located near a landfill.
Martin and The Global Poverty Project are attempting to end extreme poverty, but as the conditions in the Kalyanpuri slum and Madanpur Khadar show, there is still work do be done, especially if the Global Poverty Project and the UN want to achieve their goals by 2030. In order to help, consider watching (or even attending, if possible) the Global Citizen festival. The aim of the Global Poverty Project and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals may seem difficult to reach, but with the help of Martin and others who are in a position to help raise awareness and to donate, they may be able to become a reality.
– Ashrita Rau