School students march to demand action to combat climate change in Delhi
The march was a part of the ‘Fridays for Future’ movement organised by school children across the globe who plan to take the streets Fridays —at least once a month— to protest the government’s inaction to curb climate change.Updated: Sep 21, 2019 10:14 IST
Around 2,000 school students and environment activists marched from Lodhi Road to the office of the union ministry of forest, environment and climate change demanding stringent action by the government to combat climate change.
The march was organised by environment NGO Extinction Rebellion which demanded that a ‘climate emergency’ be declared in India.
“Thousands of Indians are becoming climate refugees each year because of the incessant droughts, floods, deforestation among other things. Air quality in all major cities is getting worse these days. This is the time to act,” Chittranjan Dubey, founder of the NGO, said.
The march was a part of the ‘Fridays for Future’ movement organised by school children across the globe who plan to take the streets Fridays —at least once a month— to protest the government’s inaction to curb climate change.
The students and activists marched to the union environment minister Prakash Javadekar’s office to submit a petition of their demands to the minister. “We could not meet him (Javadekar), but we met with a senior official from his office. She assured us that our demands will reach those concerned and that the government is working towards fighting climate change,” Dubey said.
Under the same banner, ‘Fridays for Future India and Extinction Rebellion India’, a section of students and activists submitted a letter to union minister for housing and urban affairs Hardeep Singh Puri earlier in the day and demanded “building climate resilience in cities”.
Citing instances of extreme climate change, the students wrote, “shaky civic infrastructures aren’t geared to cope with the sudden demands of extreme weather events. Climate resilience in urban areas must be built up with the specific intention of combating the freak weather phenomenon of climate change(sic).”
The students also asked the government to implement Goal 11 of the Sustainable Development Goals of making cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. They also asked to place climate issues at the centre of master plans and policies for cities and ensure environment-friendly construction.
After meeting the students, Puri tweeted, “The future is in safe hands. I had a wonderful meeting with a delegation of young new Indians who totally impressed me with their concern for the environment and issues related to climate change. I assured them that the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is totally committed to their concerns and towards giving them and every Indian a cleaner and greener future.”
Meanwhile, members of the Students’ Federation of India organised a human chain in solidarity with global climate strike which was attended by around 50 students. “We should continue to pressurise the government to adopt sustainable long-term measures to tackle the climate crisis with keeping in mind the class-caste aspects of the same,” they said in a statement.
First Published: Sep 21, 2019 10:14 IST