School children planting saplings to mark the 62nd Vana Mahotsav week in Bhubaneswar.
Indian children are more interested in protecting the environment from ill-effects of climate change than their counterparts the world over and are concerned about lack of proper sanitation and drinking water, according to a global survey on children's hopes and fears.
The survey on the hopes, aspirations and fears of the future generation also found out that children are "deeply concerned" about pollution and other environmental hazards, with more than a quarter of children in India wishing to make a difference through planting more trees.
The survey conducted on 6,200 children in 47 countries by ChildFund said 27 per cent of Indian children, more than the global average of 22 per cent, are interested in contributing to environment by planting more saplings.
"While one-third of children around the world cited pollution as the environmental problem they worry most about, 21 per cent Indian kids said lack of sanitation worries them the most, followed by pollution (17 per cent), lack of drinking water (14 per cent) and deforestation (11 per cent)," said the survey which was released today.
This year, children were surveyed about their hopes, dreams and fears, as well as their thoughts on the environment.
Dola Mohapatra, National Director of ChildFund India, said the results suggest that Indian children are not very happy with the environment which they have inherited from us.
"Thus, it is essential to listen to their concerns and consider their views while we make legislations on climate change," Mohapatra said.
Other interesting details emerged out of the survey are that in the Americas, the number of children concerned about pollution is over 50 per cent.
However, in Africa and Asia, where close to half the children have experienced drought, natural disasters are the biggest environmental worry for over a quarter of children.
Another interesting finding of the survey is that children in developed countries dream of becoming professional athletes and entertainers, while children in the developing world aspire to be doctors or teachers.
In India, 34 per cent want to become a teacher or academician, while 25 per cent wish to become doctors to serve people.
The Indian children were asked what would they do to improve the lives of the kids if they were the President or leader.
"55 per cent of them said they could have improved the quality of education and provided all enrichment opportunities to children going to school. Globally 39 per cent expressed the same wish," the survey said.