Friday, April 23

Uttarakhand: Child activist Ridhima Pandey makes it to BBC’s top 100 women for 2020

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Thirteen-year-old Uttarakhand-based climate activist Ridhima Pandey has featured in the BBC’s list of 100 inspiring and influential women from around the world for 2020.

The list, according to the BBC website, highlights those who are leading change and making a difference during these turbulent times.

Pandey said she didn’t expect she would feature in such a prestigious list. “It is a pleasant surprise and international recognition of the work I have been carrying out for the cause of the environment and climate change. This recognition will encourage me further to keep working and fighting for the cause of the environment and climate change, which are the most important issues the world is facing today and will face in the coming days,” she said.

Pandey, who lives in Haridwar, said this recognition will also inspire other youngsters, especially girls in India to fight for the cause of the environment and climate change in their areas. “I hope in the coming years many more women from India will feature in this list,” she said.

According to the BBC website (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-55042935), “Ridhima Pandey is a climate activist who, at the age of nine, filed a petition against the Government of India in response to its inaction to mitigate climate change. In 2019, along with 15 other child petitioners, Ridhima filed a lawsuit against five countries at the UN. Ridhima is currently participating in international conferences and helping to empower other students, at all levels, to fight for their future and for the biodiversity of the world. Ridhima is working to save her future and that of coming generations”.

Last year, Ridhima had joined Greta Thunberg and 14 other children at the United Nations Climate Action Summit, filing a complaint to protest the lack of government action on the climate change crisis. Last December, Pandey had started an online campaign urging the PM to talk about the alarming air pollution situation in India in his Mann Ki Baat and declare it as a public health emergency.

In September this year, Pandey in her hand-written letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that her worst nightmare was going to school with an oxygen cylinder, requesting PM Modi to make sure that “an oxygen cylinder doesn’t become an essential part of the life of children, which we may have to carry on our shoulders everywhere in future.”

Three other women from India—eighty-two-year-old Bilkis Bano, Manasi Joshi, Isaivani-have also featured in the list.