Eight-year-old climate activist Licypriya Kangujam stormed the ongoing Parliament session earlier this week to urge Prime Minister Narendra Modi to implement the climate change law. Although she was denied entry, the Manipur-based student organised a protest rally outside the Parliament to draw the PM’s attention to her three demands: passing the climate change law, making climate education compulsory as part of school curriculum, and planting a minimum of 10 trees/year by every student in India.
Other young climate activists, including 12-year-old Arav Seth, accompanied her at the Parliament.
This is not the first time that Licypriya has stood outside the Parliament. Last June, she voiced her concerns on the issue of climate change, urging the Prime Minister to take immediate action. She has also protested outside Congress MP Shashi Tharoor’s house earlier, urging him to raise her concerns in the last session of the Parliament in March. However, the politician could not help her, since the Lok Sabha session was cut short due to Covid-19. Licypriya has also reached out to Rajya Sabha BJP MP Maharaja Leishemba Sanajaoba to raise her voice in the Parliament.
Speaking to media persons, Licypriya said, “If they pass the climate change law, then we can control carbon emissions and greenhouse gases. It will stop new coal plants and destroy our forests for mining activities. It will also give climate justice to the millions of poor and vulnerable people, who are victims of climate change.”
Drawing attention to the issue of pollution in the national capital, she said, “You can just see in Delhi how air pollution is so dangerous, even children can’t move out of the home. Our leaders are just busy blaming each other instead of finding long term solutions. We want climate action now without wasting any more time.”
— Licypriya Kangujam (@LicypriyaK) September 25, 2020
Licypriya is the founder of a climate justice organisation called the ‘Child Movement’, and has time and again, raised her voice in the fight against climate change. She believes that if over 350 million students plant a minimum of ten trees in India every year, India can achieve environmental benefits in the next 5-10 years. She claims to have planted more than 50,000 trees in the last eight years.
In the past, Licypriya has addressed the World leaders at the United Nations Climate Conference 2019 (COP25) in Madrid, Spain. For her relentless fight against climate change, she has been awarded World Children’s Peace Prize, India Peace Prize, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Children’s Award, and the SDGs Ambassador Award 2019.
(Edited by Athira Nair)