Children for climate change: 6000 kids from 20 UP dists hand over charter of demands

Published on Nov 19, 2022 12:19 AM IST

The convention was organised by UNICEF and the Basic Education Department, UP, in association with Actionaid.

Children at the month-long climate change campaign (HT Photo)
Children at the month-long climate change campaign (HT Photo)
By, Lucknow

A children’s convention was held to mark the conclusion of a climate change campaign being conducted by UNICEF and Actionaid.

The children presented the principal secretary of the department, Deepak Kumar, with a charter of demands to make society more climate-conscious. The convention was organised by UNICEF and the Basic Education Department, UP, in association with Actionaid.

The stage event was planned and conducted almost entirely by the students, while the whole convention was plastic-free. Three hundred upper primary government school students attended the event, while children from Mahmoodpur School performed.

This was the final event concluding the month-long climate change campaign wherein 6,000 children from across 240 schools in 20 UP districts were mobilised in spreading climate change awareness in their communities.

At this event, students performed a play on people’s apathy towards climate change, talking about water shortage, pollution, industrialisation and deforestation, among other topics, as well as a musical performance.

They also released a book detailing the achievements of various students across UP districts who brought about change in their communities during this campaign - be it with regard to reducing air pollution, preventing dengue, proper waste disposal or water-logging; and another detailing the charter of demands.

Students had surveyed their localities and planted red flags at environmentally risky sites as a part of the campaign, and pursued to turn those areas green. They also spoke with their village authorities and related stakeholders to bring about said changes.

After the inauguration of the book with the guests, Kumar was presented with their charter of demands which included - including climate change curriculum in their syllabi, clean water and proper toilets, physical education lessons, safety precautions like fire extinguishers and first aid at schools, working internet, prevention of child labour, proper management of midday meals, mental health counsellors and plastic free zones at schools, among other things. The participants had also made posters at the start of the campaign in October which were displayed at the event.

Principal Secretary (Basic Education) Deepak Kumar said, “Climate change is a global issue. The children of government schools have a very good understanding of it. If children are aware of the consequences of climate change and are ready to make the change, they are sure to spread the message within their families.”

“Since children are raising their voices about climate change from all over the world, we figured “Why not children from Uttar Pradesh? And we never thought that these children would be so aware, engaged and sensitive,” said Ritwik Patra, education specialist, UNICEF, UP. “They are no less than the other adolescents who have achieved fame by advocating climate consciousness. They could really become climate warriors,” he added.

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