Much like Greta Thunberg, this 11-year-old environmentalist from Uttarakhand has sued the Indian government to save the environment

11-year-old Ridhima Pandey is one among the 16 children who sued five nations believed to be causing the most pollution. Her work as a climate activist began when she sued the Indian government in 2017.

For a while now, 16-year-old Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg has tried to awaken the world to the urgency of climate change with her protests. In her speech at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York on Monday, Greta was seen pleading and warning the world leaders about climate change. 

Greta was later joined by 15 other youth activists including Ridhima Pandey, to file a complaint against Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany, and Turkey, who the activists believe are causing the most pollution. The futures of the generations to come are being put at risk because of the world leaders in action, the young climate activists said in the petition, Firstpost reported. 

The 11-year-old Ridhima, who hails from Uttarakhand, started her speech with a calm Namaste, introducing herself first in Hindi and then in English. 

At the UN Summit, Ridhima said, 

“I am here because I want all the global leaders to do something to stop climate change. If It’s not going to be stopped, it is going to harm our futures.”

About 14 other children between the age group of 8-17 years, belonging to France, Germany, Palau, Marshall Islands, Nigeria, South Africa, Argentina, Brazil, Sweden, Tunisia, and the United States attended the event. Ridhima was one of the many children present during the summit. 

Image Source: Children vs Climate Crisis website

Starting at home

This isn’t the first time the environmental activist has voiced her concern for climate change, by standing against the government and other organisations. 

She first filed a legal case against the Government of India in 2017, for failing to implement the environmental laws. The petition was made to the National Green Tribunal (NGT), through her legal guardian. 

Ridhima, who was nine at the time, highlighted the extreme pollution levels and continuous degradation of the environment in the country. She also requested the government to review industrial projects and, prepare a “carbon budget” to limit carbon dioxide emissions, and create a national climate recovery plan, Reuters reported.

Ridhima’s father, Dinesh Pandey, also an environmental activist, knew the dire consequences of climate change, as he was one of the victims of the 2013 Uttarakhand floods, that claimed hundreds of lives and left thousands homeless.  

 “For someone so young, she is very aware of the issue of climate change, and she is very concerned about how it will impact her in future,” Rahul Choudhary, Ridhima’s lawyer told the news agency. 

The young activist’s bio on the website of Children vs Climate Crisis is loud and clear of the persistent demand. It reads, “I want a better future. I want to save my future. I want to save our future. I want to save the future of all the children and all people of future generations.”

(Edited by Suman Singh)


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