A View From Delhi Of The Planet-Wide Climate Strike

Image:    The Indian Express

Image: The Indian Express

Hundreds of thousands of students joined environmental activists and had foregone their school on Friday to take part in mass protests, urging people and giving a clarion call against climate change before the UN Climate Action Summit 2019 to be held in New York, USA.

The strike also came to be popularly known as September 2019 Climate Strike and included the global week for the future, aimed at sensitizing people about climate changes and urged the governments and lawmakers to address the issue of climate change which is impacting all of us in many different ways. From New York to Sydney, Cape Town to London, protesters in hundreds of cities around the world took the streets, demanding their governments take urgent steps to tackle the climate crisis and prevent an environmental catastrophe. In India alone, more than 14000 people from different walks of life, including school children, teenagers and other environmentally conscious citizens signed up for as many as 26 mega-events which were held across 2000 cities of the country as part of the global strikes demanding action. These climate strikes aimed at bringing awareness about the climate changes across the world had a humble beginning in Sweden.

In 2018, Greta Thunberg a 16 year- old climate activist sat for three weeks outside the Swedish Parliament to protest against lack of measures to combat climate change. She then started skipping school and began the tradition of holding a strike on every Friday demanding immediate action against impending climate disasters; Soon, students around the world began to follow her suit and continued protests before their respective Parliaments, hoping this would make their voices heard. She soon became one of the world’s youngest climate change activists.

In the National Capital Delhi, one of the world’s most polluted cities of the world,  dozens of millennial protesters gathered together in Lodhi Garden and chanted slogans related to climate change and clean air, while others carried banners displaying messages like “Climate Justice Now”, “It’s our future” and “There is no Planet B”, before making their way towards Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change in Jorbagh. The young activists were intercepted by the Delhi police near the ministry, where they staged a strong protest by sitting down and rejoiced the spirit of the movement. According to Delhi Police, the protesters didn’t have a dedicated podium for speakers, neither did they have permission to protest.

The idea behind the strike and protests was to walk out of classrooms and workplaces and send a clear message to the society across India as well as the world by raising voice and emphasizing the urgency of the situation by giving them a reality check about the future of earth and encouraging the society and the people in power to take adequate measures and consolidated steps to tackle the menace of climate change for a happier and healthier tomorrow.

Abhiram PratheekComment