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Go green, or die – Indian students hit streets for more climate action

Hundreds of Indian school children were on the streets on Friday, September 27, 2019 in a fresh wave of rallies and events demanding action by political leaders on the climate crisis.

Climate strike in India
Climate strike in India

The recent wave of protests has been in response to Swedish teen climate activist Greta Thunberg’s call for mass protests.

Students in the Indian capital skipped classes to gather at Vijay Chowk, a spot in the heart of the city and near prominent government offices demanding that political leaders take urgent action.

“You are the reason its dying, you can be the reason it’s saved,’’ read a placard with a large green-blue Earth held up by a young girl.

“Climate change is not a lie, we won’t let our planet die,’’ a group chanted.

In the Jantar Mantar area, groups of young students gathered beating drums, singing, shouting slogans and demanding quick action. “Go Green, Or Die,’’ said a placard.

“Governments are hopeless, we have to do something about it,’’ said 14-year-old Anyasha Singh.

“I can see the same anger that we saw on Greta Thunberg’s face during her UN speech in the faces of all the children here,’’ said Dennis Mathew, 21.

Mathew works with Pratyek, a youth advocacy non-profit that facilitated the event at Jantar Mantar.

“We are submitting a memorandum to the government to take steps like introducing climate issues in school syllabuses and reviving wetlands around the city,’’ a young girl told NDTV news channel in the southern city of Chennai. Chennai saw devastating floods in 2015 and acute water shortage in 2019.

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