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Meet Indian-Origin Activist Sunitha Viswanathan, Recipient of White House Honour


Sunita Viswanathan

Indian origin Sunitha viswanathan was among the 12 faith leaders being honoured as “Champion of Change” on July 20 by the US White House for their continuous efforts towards climate change.

Viswanath “is being honoured for her work to encourage Hindus in protecting environment and communities from the effects of climate change,” said the White House.

Sunitha is a co-founder of the 14-year old women’s human rights organisation Women for Afghan Women (WAW), Sadhana: Coalition of Progressive Hindus, among others and she began awareness of Hinduism based on “social justice, and upholding the Hindu principles of ekatva (oneness), ahimsa (non-violence) and sadhana (faith in action).”

Born in Chennai, Viswanath is a fierce leader advocating women’s rights and faith-based activism becomng a beacon of hope for the people of New York City, said the appreciation statement.

Sadhana’s Project Prithvi for environment, to clean up a beach in Jamaica Bay, Queens which is a place of worship for Hindus has gone a long way to uplift environmental consciousness.

The non-profit not only adopted the beach but involved in its regular clean-ups, and also does outreach through Hindu temples to advocate that Hindus worship in environmentally conscious ways, said the interfaithcenter.org.

Viswanath received in 2011 the “Feminist Majority Foundation’s Global Women’s Rights Award” for her work with WAW. she lives in Brooklyn in New York and married to Stephan Shaw.

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