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Sunday, Sep 22, 2019

Up to us to turn around climate change within 12 years, say school students

Dressed in their uniforms and waving placards, students chanted, “How is the pollution? High Sir!”

gurgaon Updated: May 26, 2019 07:07 IST
Sharanya Munsi
Sharanya Munsi
School students from across the city convened at the Galleria Market.
School students from across the city convened at the Galleria Market.(Yogendra Kumar/HT PHOTO)

More than 100 students of city schools gathered at Galleria Market at noon on Friday to voice their concerns about climate change..

Dressed in their uniforms and waving placards, students chanted, “How is the pollution? High Sir!”

“Twelve years is the time that we have to turn around climate change according to the United Nations,” said Veer Khanna, a student of The Shri Ram School Aravali and one of the organisers, as he blared into a microphone.

Surrounding him were students from different schools, comprising representatives from city schools and also those who showed up to show their solidarity during the summer vacation.

Parents watched on as the students delivered speeches and raised slogans.

“The older generations are not going to do anything about climate change. It is up to us to take action and spread awareness,” said Vatsal Juneja, a Class 10 student of DAV Public School.

Juneja, along with 16 other students from his school, volunteered to attend the event and were sent in the school bus.

This was the second climate change protest in the city inspired by Greta Thunberg’s Friday protests outside the Swedish Parliament. The first one was held at the Wazirabad bundh in March, in which over 400 students participated.

Avani Kothari, a student of Class 6 at The Shri Ram School, Moulsari, said she wanted people to stop using plastic.

Although her views against plastic use were well received by the participants, not everyone seemed to practice it. As Kothari spoke, several senior students, standing behind her, were seen sipping beverages from plastic cups, tin cans and plastic bottles.

The recent fight to save the Aravalli Biodiversity Park, in which students played a role, was also mentioned in the protest.

“My request to the government is to convert the park into a reserve forest so that no activity, such as construction, can take place inside it. Just like the protests that saved Kerala’s Silent Valley, the same should be done for the Aravallis,” said Kaithab Jeet Singh, a Class 10 student of The Shri Ram School, Aravali.

“I love the Aravallis. I used to go cycling there so naturally, I will fight to save it,” said Naira Bagchi, a Class 10 student of Ridge Valley School, who was holding a large ‘Save Aravalli Biodiversity Park’ poster in green.

Several students spoke on deforestation, lack of green cover and the need to conserve water.

Kabier Malik, a student of Delhi Public School, carried a stuffed red alpaca over his head with a tag reading Save My Home, to highlight the need to conserve grasslands that support several ecosystems.

Other students flashed hand-painted posters with slogans such as ‘Green is the new black’, ‘Even dinosaurs thought they had time’ and ‘Climate change is worse than homework’, among others.

First Published: May 25, 2019 01:18 IST