‘Global climate strike’: Youngsters, activists take to streets in Delhi, demand action
Several school children and youngsters took to Delhi’s streets on Friday demanding climate action from authorities as part of the Global Climate Strike. From socially distanced sit-ins to demonstrations at Vijay Chowk, climate activists across the national capital put forward their demands to the authorities during the Covid-19 pandemic.
A group of protesters had gathered at the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change on Friday afternoon demanding inclusive, attainable environmental plans, among other things. Their list of demands included saving the Aravallis, improved sewage treatment plants to tackle pollution in the Yamuna, decentralized waste system, and better environment education in schools.
“Most of the climate activism groups were continuing with digital strikes. The global Fridays for Future gave the call for a strike all over the world and we decided to join for the physical strike this time,” said Srijani Datta, who recently graduated from school.
Protesters said they were adhering to social distancing norms and reducing the risk of spread of infection by carrying their own sanitisers, consumables and posters.
“Since we are building back from the pandemic, you want them to do so in a green and socially just manner. That would include maybe investing in renewables and creating green jobs in the solar and wind sector among others, investing in public and non-motorised transport,” she said.
Before Covid-19 lockdown, school children and youngsters across the national capital were participating in the global ‘Fridays for Future’ movement. As a part of the strike, the protesters took to the streets on Fridays —at least once a month— to protest the government’s inaction to curb climate change. The movement was inspired by teenage Swedish activist Greta Thunberg who started the school strikes demanding change against climate change and other environmental issues.
Another group of protesters did a shoe strike outside the Prime Minister’s office. Bhavreen Kandhari, one of the organisers, said less than ten people had gathered keeping in mind Covid-19 regulations. Yet, officials detained four protesters.
“Since children cannot come out in large numbers and protest due to the pandemic, we placed shoes and other footwear outside to make our point and demand action. Every pair of shoe represented a Climate Striker who have been demonstrating had it not been for the pandemic,” she said.
Requesting anonymity, a senior police officer said, “No one was detained. There were three to four minors who were removed from there but not detained.”