City students gear up for one more protest rally, want leaders to take climate seriously
The march, scheduled for May 24 in line with the global climate strike for future, will begin from Galleria Market in DLF Phase 4 at 1pm.Updated: May 17, 2019 01:56 IST
Hindustan Times, Gurgaon
Students from across the city are gearing up for a second march seeking proper action on climate change after the last protest on March 15 saw a good turnout.
The march, scheduled for May 24 in line with the global climate strike for future, will begin from Galleria Market in DLF Phase 4 at 1pm. Students said they plan to march in the area for about two hours, holding placards and signs made from biodegradable and recyclable materials such as used cardboard boxes, old bedsheets and clothes.
The climate strikes were initiated by 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunburg, and come at a critical time. A UN report, released earlier this month, warned that one million species may be pushed to extinction in the next few years as a result of climate change and deforestation.
Students said they want to highlight government inaction on climate change through mobilising the masses, and that close to 100 students have confirmed their participation so far. “As we have seen in other countries, people coming out to protest have led to some change. So we are using social media to reach out to students and many have shown the concerns similar to ours about climate change,” said 15-year-old Veer Ojas. Around 400 students had joined the protest last time.
Ojas added that an Instagram handle by the name ‘Climate Action Gurugram’ was created a few days ago to promote the cause. Other students said they are using Facebook groups that they are part of to raise awareness and get people to join the protest. Ojas added he also addressed his school assembly twice this month to urge people to join in.
Those leading the protest said they want the government to declare a climate emergency. “We are facing an unprecedented environmental emergency. The government should acknowledge and declare it as has been done in the UK and Ireland,” said 16-year-old Ragini Malhotra.
Their demands also include a government ban on diesel generators, increase in forest cover in the city and withdrawal of the Punjab Land Preservation Act (PLPA) Amendment Bill, which the Haryana cabinet had passed in February this year, and which will open up at least 25,000 acres of PLPA-notified Aravalli land in Faridabad and Gurugram for real estate development.
“The protest is happening a day after the Lok Sabha election result is announced. The government that comes in power should make environment a priority. And we will be making sure we raise our voices for the same,” added Malhotra.
First Published: May 17, 2019 01:56 IST