An Indian teenage activist Ridhima Pandey is one of the sixteen climate activists fighting for climate change and demanding action from world leaders in the hope of a better future. She has filed a complaint to protest lack of government action on the burning issue of climate crisis.
She, along with the other child petitioners alleges that Member States’ failure to tackle the climate crisis constitutes a violation of child rights. It was filed through the third Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child. It is a voluntary mechanism which allows children or adults on their behalf to appeal directly to the United Nations for assistance if a country that has ratified the Protocol doesn’t provide a remedy for a rights violation.
“I want a better future. I want to save my future and the future of all the children and all people of future generations.” – Ridhima Pandey
More about Ridhima Pandey
Six years ago, Ridhima Pandey, who hails from Uttarakhand, moved with her family from Nainital to Haridwar. “Every year in July, there is a festival called Kanwar Yatra, which is held near the holy Ganges River. But recently, the region has witnessed hotter summer and winter months. The hotter temperatures have threatened the Ganges River, which now faces lowered water levels from recent droughts – challenging the continuation of the religious rituals that are centred around it.” Ridhima says in the ChildrenVsClimateCrisis website, according to a report by Hindustan Times.
This is Ridhima Pandey. In April'17, when 9, she filed a petition with the National Green Tribunal asking the Indian government to prepare a carbon budget for 2017-2050 & a time-bound Climate Recovery plan. #ClimateAction #ClimateStrike #ClimateActionSummit #FridaysForFuture pic.twitter.com/sFuHSU6uWa
— Santhosh D'Souza (@santhoshd) September 23, 2019
“The few times it does rain, it rains very heavily. The rain causes the Ganges to reach the danger mark, threatening floods, and the increasingly intense rainstorms overwhelm the local infrastructure. In 2013, Ridhima and her family experienced one such devastating rainstorm in Haridwar that resulted in flooding and many casualties,” it adds.
She says that her mission is to save the future. “I want a better future. I want to save my future and the future of all the children and all people of future generations,” her bio on the website of ChildrenVsClimateCrisis reads.
Besides this, she was quite disturbed seeing the catastrophic impact that Uttarakhand floods of 2013 had on the state. Her father is also an environmental activist.
Case against Indian Government
In fact, in 2017, she had filed a case against the Indian government for its inability to take action against climate change. Her legal guardian had filed the petition. She believes that India is one of the most vulnerable countries to adverse climate change impact.
Through her petition, she had asked the court to order the government to assess industrial projects for climate-related issues, plan and prepare a “carbon budget” to limit carbon dioxide emissions and work on a national climate recovery plan.
“For someone so young, she is very aware of the issue of climate change, and she is very concerned about how it will impact her in future,”
“For someone so young, she is very aware of the issue of climate change, and she is very concerned about how it will impact her in future,” said Rahul Choudhary. He is the lawyer who represented her at National Green Tribunal, reported Thomson Reuters Foundation.
“She wanted to do something that can have a meaningful effect, and we suggested she could file a petition against the government,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Greta Thunberg, Chiara Sacchi, Catarina Lorenzo, Iris Duquesne, Raina Ivanova, Ridhima Pandey, David Ackley III, Ranton Anjain, Litokne Kabua, Deborah Adegbile, Carlos Manuel, Ayakha Melithafa, Ellen-Anne, Raslen Jbeili, Carl Smith and Alexandria Villaseñor are the other fifteen crusaders campaigning against climate change.