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GURGAON-500 students to protest inaction on climate crisis

March 13, 2019 06:24 AM


Sonali Verma
500 students to protest inaction on climate crisis
GURUGRAM: More than 500 primary and high school students from across schools in the city are likely to stage a protest against the government’s inaction on climate change at the Wazirabad bundh in Sector 53 on Friday, March 15. Meanwhile in Delhi, 400 school children similarly plan to bunk school and gather at the Central park in Connaught Place on the same day to sit on strike demanding their right to breathe.

Terming the protest as a ‘call for action’, the students said their future is at stake due to the escalating environmental crisis, and that there is a need for urgent and radical action.

Friday’s protest is in line with the global ‘Youth Strike 4 Climate’ movement, where students in Europe, Australia and the US are walking out of their classes to protest the indifference towards climate change.

“We are facing a global emergency; the protest is an extinction rebellion. We expect at least around 500 students to turn up based on the response,” said Manya Anandi Khanna, a

15-year-old, adding that she has been following what the 16-yearold Swedish activist Greta Thunberg has been doing to fight climate change.

Students will be setting up stalls around the theme of conservation at the bundh. According to 15-year-old Veer Ojas, the stalls are a way to teach others about five major topics — water conservation, energy conservation, reducing vehicular emissions, efficient garbage disposal and eating local.

The plan to protest in Gurugram started mostly through social media, parents of the students said. The parents and children got together and also approached many schools in the city, asking for their participation. Several schools readily agreed to participate, the parents said.

“The children had been following the protests going on around the world. They wondered why protests such as those haven’t taken shape in their city yet,” said Puneeta Chadha Khanna, Manya and Veer’s mother. She added that the children in the city are already

aware of the ecological problems the city is facing and that they have made their own efforts in the past to help address them.

During the ‘Aravalli Bachao’ protest against the Haryana government’s proposal to amend the Punjab Land Preservation Act (PLPA), out of around 300 people, more than 70 were children, she said. For 13-year-old Arya Dhar Gupta, the first step to fight against the ecological crisis is to sit down and come up with an action plan. “We want to urge the government to sit down with us and brainstorm as, after all, we are the future. The government can’t ignore us,” she added

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