By Sunil Kataria and Mayank Bhardwaj
NEW DELHI, September 28 (Reuters) – When 8-year-old Indian climate change activist Licypriya Kangujam is older, she wants to launch a solo mission to the moon to find ways to save planet Earth.
One of the youngest climate change activists in the world, Kangujam was inspired by the devastating scenes she witnessed in Nepal in 2015, where at the age of four she helped her father bring relief. helps victims of massive earthquakes that killed some 9,000 people and millions of homes.
She is now leading a youth movement calling on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Indian lawmakers to pass a new law to cap the carbon emissions of the world‘s third largest producer of greenhouse gases.
“I am fighting to save our planet and our future,” she said protesting outside Parliament in New Delhi on September 21, holding a sign that read: “Children’s climate movement, pass the law on climate change”.
Delhi, a sprawling metropolis of some 19 million people, is one of the most polluted cities in the world and during the winter months the toxic haze can often confine families to their homes.
Born in the northeastern Indian state of Manipur, home to pristine mountains and crystal-clear air, Kangujam was outraged by the quality of the air she saw in Delhi.
“I am worried about the health of schoolchildren and babies and small children,” Kangujam told Reuters from his high-rise apartment in Noida, a satellite city of New Delhi.
One week away from his 9th birthday, Kangujam’s house is a testament to both his activism and his youth. Awards and trophies from international agencies fill a cabinet, as she and her six-year-old sister Irina have pillow fights, sing karaoke, dance and watch movies like “Frozen” together.
Kangujam’s ultimate ambition is to become a “space scientist” with the goal of saving humans on earth.
“I will go to the moon and I will research how we can breathe fresh air, how we can get water, fresh water to drink and food, how to grow crops”, a- she declared.
“Because our planet is dying soon.”