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Wednesday, Oct 16, 2019

Protecting Aravallis, the focus of global week of climate action

cities Updated: Sep 19, 2019 20:49 IST
Sonali Verma
Sonali Verma
Hindustantimes
         

Gurugram School students of the city have planned protests and gatherings to raise awareness about climate change from September 20 to 27, observed as the global week of climate action. The focus of the protests would be the Aravallis and its protection, according to the students, most of whom would be taking part in the march for the third time this year.

Students and parents have decided to come together for an educational walk at the Aravalli Biodiversity Park on Saturday evening. The walk, which will be led by environment experts and activists in the city, aims to introduce children to their local forest and educate them about its relevance. Around 50 students of all age groups are expected to turn up, and as per the organisers, adults are welcome only if accompanied by their children.

Students noted that even as conversations about climate change are taking place in the city’s schools, many are still not fully aware of their local ecology and its importance. “Among my circles, there is little awareness about the extent of the damage being caused to the local Aravallis and the environmental problems it could lead to in the future,” said 15-year-old Manya Anandi Khanna.

Misha Bansal, a project fellow at the Centre for Ecology Development and Research (CEDAR), who is leading the walk, said that when children are aware of the ground realities of climate change, they can push for action better. “Children are the ones who will have to bear the environmental consequences. They have to be aware of the changes impacting their lives so they can call authorities to action,” she said.

Highlighting that about 60,000 acres of Aravallis in south Haryana stands to be potentially destroyed if the Punjab Land Preservation Act (PLPA) is amended, students participating in the protests said they want the bill to be withdrawn/repealed. They said that candidates in the upcoming state assembly elections must take up the issue.

Students have called for a march, to protest the potential destruction of the Aravallis, on September 26 at the Galleria Market in DLF Phase 4, a day before they march at the Prime Minister’s office, along with other students from the National Capital Region.

Several students from the city said they are also planning to join the protest against concretisation at the ministry of housing and urban affairs in Delhi on Friday afternoon. The protests in both Delhi and Gurugram have been called by ParentsforFuture India and FridaysforFuture, India. Similar protests are planned across the country, in Ahmedabad, Vadodara and Pune, among other cities.

First Published: Sep 19, 2019 20:49 IST

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