If Saturday was Children’s Day, Sunday is actually a childhood landmark day for many 30 and 40 somethings who were really young urban children in India in the late 70s and early 80s.
Many of them— I mean us — recall being part of the campaign to save the Silent Valley forests in Kerala, where a hydroelectric project was being planned. Most of us could hardly write a letter, and knew only that a forest with rare wildlife and plants was about to be destroyed. Hundreds of parents cajoled their children to write. I remember writing a postcard to the President. Many of my friends wrote similar letters. Years later, on November 15th, the Silent Valley became a national park.
The campaign reminds us of about the importance of goading children to take action on green issues and exert their citizenship in creative and forceful ways. Even though schools are now incomparably more active, this day is a reminder for parents — many who were children during the Silent Valley struggle — to organize and help their children act.
Angry Chinese Greens
A group of Chinese citizens have been able to successfully temporarily stop a waste incinerator in the Jiangsu province. The 48 million dollar plant was located near schools and a lake and was likely to adversely impact hundreds of people. Studies showed metals in Chinese organic waste and toxins can easily find their way into the food chain. Protests yielded results. China has a terrible environmental protection record and its people are fed up. But even in undemocratic China, citizens risk protest for their families.