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Meet 'India's Greta Thunberg': Seven-year-old Licypriya Kangujam from Manipur

Licypriya Kangujam. (Image courtesy: SAARC youth) Photograph:( Others )

WION New Delhi, India Sep 12, 2019, 08.03 PM (IST) Written By: Ayushi Agarwal Edited By: Riya Gupta

Licypriya Kangujam, a child wonder has shocked the world after she became the youngest "climate activist". The seven-year-old began raising her voice about the need for immediate action to combat climate change and disaster risks reduction. She has been invited to 16 countries as part of her movement.

Kangujam is also an official participant and youngest delegate out of 8,000 participants from 196 countries at COP14 which is underway till September 13. After this, she will be travelling to Angola on September 16.

Licypriya often referred to as "India's Greta Thunberg" has been recently awarded the prestigious "World Children Peace Prize 2019" from Global Peace Index - Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP), in the Maldives.

Speaking to WION, Licypriya shared her journey from the Maldives to Manipur and also spoke about climate change.

Here are excerpts of the conversation:

WION: What made you speak up for issues like climate at such a young age?

Licypriya Kangujam: I see people suffering and dying because of earthquake, flood, landslide, etc. My heart feels sorrow for people who cannot help themselves when disaster strikes. I cry when I see children losing their parents. My country has met disasters like earthquake, flood, landslide, etc. These are all the impact of climate change.

WION: You are often referred to as "India's Greta Thunberg", is it true? How do you feel on being compared to another international climate activist?

Licypriya Kangujam: Yes it is true. People call me "Greta of India, but truly I am Licypriya of India".

WION: Can you tell us more about your journey? How did you start?

Licypriya Kangujam: My father is my motivation. I have attended many international programs and conferences on disaster and climate change. I have heard many stories about children losing their parents or people becoming homeless due to danger of disasters. This is how I have started my journey.

WION: What efforts did you make so far? And also about the government to act on climate change?

Licypriya Kangujam: I have planted hundreds of trees. I am cleaning the seas and rivers with my supporters in various countries. And I am telling people to plant millions of trees by travelling to various countries for my child movement. I am creating awareness to the people not to throw garbages and plastics in the river, seas or oceans or anywhere. If they cut even small trees or big trees then they should plant thousands of trees. I am also recycling plastics. And also I am telling the world to recycle the plastics, newspapers or cans or anything. But they are not recycling. I will tell again and again even they do not listen to us.

WION: Are you also going to New York for UNGA?

Licypriya Kangujam: Not sure. Because I have to go to my school and I have to do my homework. If I am not studying then how my brain could be smart! I am attending lots of programs because I love them and they love me. But the adults, the seniors said they don’t care about our future. They also should care for our future as we care for them.

WION: What else are you planning to do?

Licypriya Kangujam: I will campaign more on climate change and I will try to grow millions of trees. And also I will travel from one place to another to plant more trees. I will go to the Parliament to tell Mr Modi and our MPs to pass the climate change law as soon as possible.

Story highlights

At the age of 7, Licypriya Kangujam began raising her voice about the need for immediate action to combat climate change and disaster risks reduction.