India’s 11 y.o. Ridhima Pandey Fighting Alongside Greta Thunberg; Time We Listen To Our Kids?

Posted: September 27, 2019

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We all know Greta Thunberg who tried to awaken the world to the urgency of climate change. But do you know about 11-year-old Ridhima Pandey fighting for Climate Change alongside Greta?

“People are suffering, people are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are at the beginning of mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!”

This is how 16-year-old environmental activist Greta Thunberg tore at the world leaders with her angry and emotional speech at the United Nations climate summit. For a while now, Greta Thunberg has tried to awaken the world to the urgency of climate change with her protests.

What exactly did Greta Thunberg do?

In August 2018, Greta Thunberg started a school strike for the climate outside the Swedish Parliament. The strike has since spread all over the world and now involves over 100,000 schoolchildren.

And the movement is called Fridays For Future. This led to the global climate strike from September 20th to 27th. On Monday, September 24th, she gave her fiery speech at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York

Greta started this climate crisis attention movement by urging students to skip school every Friday, to call leaders’ attention to the need for policies to reduce the threat of climate change. Students and several people across the world are staging the strike.

In her petition, Greta was joined by 15 other children, who have filed a landmark complaint at the UN against five countries citing rights violations by not acting on climate issues. The countries against whom the complaint was filed included Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany, and Turkey. One student among them is 11-year old Ridhima Pandey from India.

The girl who sued India for failing to implement the environmental laws

11-year-old Ridhima Pandey hails from Uttarakhand. Her seeds of her journey towards making the government realise the importance of climate change were sowed in 2013, after her father Dinesh Pandey, an environmental activist, was one of the victims of the Uttarakhand floods in the same year. The flood claimed hundreds of lives and left thousands homeless. (as reported by news 18).

To prevent such disasters from happening again, she filed a legal case against the Government of India in 2017. The case was for failing to implement the environmental laws.

“Ridhima, who was nine at the time, highlighted the extreme pollution levels. She stood against continuous degradation of the environment in the country. And also requested the government to review industrial projects and, prepare a “carbon budget” to limit carbon dioxide emissions, and create a national climate recovery plan,” Reuters reported.

With Greta, Ridhima also spoke at the UN Climate Summit. She started her speech with a calm Namaste. After that she introduced herself first in Hindi and then in English. She said “I am here because I want all the global leaders to do something to stop climate change. If it’s not going to be stopped, it is going to harm our futures.”

Her bio on the website of Children vs Climate Crisis reads out her goals very clearly.

“I want a better future. I want to save my future. I want to save our future. I want to save the future of all the children and all people of future generations.”

Why is the discussion about climate change important?

We all know that change is climate happening but we don’t realise is.

Let’s take Bengaluru’s example. Bengaluru is known for its pleasant weather. However, the city in the recent years has been facing erratic weather that is much hotter than a few years ago.

Another example of climate change are the Kerala floods that resulted in the death of thousands of people. The state saw extreme rainfall for two consecutive years and that is not normal.

According to the Global Energy & CO2 Status Report, “global energy-related CO2 emissions rose 1.7% to a historic high of 33.1 Gt CO2.” This has resulted in more and more accumulation of Carbon-dioxide. Thus, resulting in the melting of glaciers.

The months are becoming warmer, rainfall rate is decreasing, global warming is happening, the earth is warming up and we can’t deny it.

Hence, it’s high time to do something for Earth.

Image source: YouTube

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