Young environmental activists petition for climate education in Delhi schools
Aniket Gupta, a young Delhi-based environment activist who started the petition, said introducing climate literacy in the school curriculum has become a necessity, considering the fast degradation of the environment globally and the extreme weather events that are being reported worldwide
New Delhi: A group of young environmental activists have started an online petition, requesting the Delhi and central governments to include climate education in Delhi schools to sensitise youngsters about the impact of the global climate crisis.
Aniket Gupta, a young Delhi-based environment activist, who started the petition, said introducing climate literacy in the school curriculum has become a necessity, considering the fast degradation of the environment globally and the extreme weather events that are being reported worldwide.
“I think awareness of climate change isn’t enough. We need to sensitise children too from an early age. Record-breaking heat waves, changing rainfall patterns, dust storms and increasing air pollution scares me about my future and the future of generations to come. If as children we are not taught about the climate crisis, and what we can do to stop this cycle of permanent damage to our planet in even the smallest of ways we can, there is no way we will live to see a green planet again,” Gupta said.
He added, “Just a few loose mentions of global warming and deforestation in school textbooks will not help. We need a comprehensive curriculum that not only creates awareness among kids about their natural world but also sensitises them towards the beings that they share this planet with.”
Gupta is supported by three other co-petitioners, Aditya Dubey, Seher Taneja and Dwishojoyee Banerjee, who are also students and have been regularly raising their voice against various aspects of environment degradation in the national capital.
Ever since the petition was started on Change.org late September, they have also met Aam Aadmi Party legislators, and senior leaders from the BJP, who have agreed to support their demands and raise it before their respective governments for consideration.
“We are in touch with our area (Krishna Nagar) MLA, SK Bagga. He has agreed to hear our proposal. We are also presenting our proposal to the vice-chairperson of Dialogue and Development Commission, Jasmine Shah. Charu Pragya, lawyer and BJP spokesperson, has also accepted our proposal and promised to present it to education minister, Dharmendra Pradhan,” Gupta said.
A Delhi government spokesperson said that they will consider the proposal once it comes before them.
Experts said that such a proposal by the young generation should be taken seriously by the political representatives.
“In the times that we are in, environment has to be the centre of all discussions. One of the ways by which we can make masses sensitive towards the environmental crisis is to catch them early. It will be a good idea to have young children know about what is happening around them and how they can make things better,” said Anumita Roychowdhury, executive director (research and advocacy), Centre for Science and Environment.