IMPHAL, March 8 - Eight-year-old climate activist Licypriya Kangujam, who turned down Prime Minister Narendra Modi�s honour of joining the #SheInspiresUs campaign, said that she rejected the offer because nobody paid heed to any of her demands over the years.
Speaking to PTI, Kangujam said that initially she was both happy and sad to learn about the honour, but eventually decided to turn it down since politicians never take the issue of climate change seriously.
�Over the years, they haven�t listened to any of my demands despite protesting continuously in front of the Parliament and many other places across the country with thousands of children and youths,� she lamented.
She recalled that in June 2019, seven MPs of the Rajya Sabha, after her protest in front of the Parliament House, moved a Calling Attention Motion on the issue, but Minister for Environment and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar said that India would not bow down to international pressure on climate change. The minister�s response was not up to her expectations, she said.
Kangujam is known as Indian �Greta�, after being compared to award-winning Swedish teenage environment activist Greta Thunberg, for her passion towards the fight against climate change. Ever since her foray into climate activism, Kangujam, who was conferred the Rising Star by Washington DC-based Earth Day Network last year, made her demands clear � that the government should enact a climate law to regulate carbon emissions and other greenhouse gases. Such a law will bring in transparency, she said.
She also demanded that climate change should be made a compulsory subject in schools because she believes that it will help in the fight against climate change from the grassroots level. �It will also help in educating our leaders as they would learn about the issue from their children and grandchildren,� she said, adding that the leaders just cannot believe that science and climate change is real.
Planting of at least three trees by a student to pass their exam will lead to the plantation of at least 3.5 billion trees a year as �we have 350 million students�, asserted Licypriya who believed it will make the country green in five years. She is certain that the policies would �help fight climate change and also to change the system of the world�.
The #SheInspiresUs is a social media campaign dedicated to women �whose life and work will help ignite motivation in millions�. � PTI