Children and teenagers are really taking it upon themselves to save the world. It's amazing that they are aware, informed and driven at such a young age. No, I'm not talking about Greta Thunberg today. This is the story of an 8-year-old climate activist from Manipur, India, who dropped out of school at the age of seven to call the world's attention to global warming.
Having spoken in 21 countries already, Licypriya Kangujam, boldly addressed the COP25 climate conference in Madrid, Spain, last month (December 2019). As she spoke about her resolve for the rising climate crisis and urged global leaders to "act now", a Spanish newspaper called her 'Greta of the South'. Soon, media started addressing her as 'The Greta Thunberg of India', the 'Indian Greta Thunberg' and the likes.
Finally, Licypriya took to Twitter on January 26 and told the media to stop calling her, Greta of India. In a series of tweets, she went on to talk about her journey as an activist that started even before Greta's and, once and for all, addressed the world to let her have her own identity, her own story. "If you call me "Greta of India", you are not covering my story. You are deleting a story," read one of her tweets.
Dear Media, Stop calling me “Greta of India”. I am not doing my activism to looks like Greta Thunberg. Yes, she is one of our Inspiration & great influencer. We have common goal but I have my own identity, story. I began my movement since July 2018 even before Greta was started. pic.twitter.com/3UEqCVWYM8
In the video, Licypriya can be seen standing outside the Parliament, holding a placard that says 'Dear Mr Modi & MPs, pass the climate change law! Act now". She also shared her very first global address, which was at a UN event in 2018 in Mongolia.
I first raised my voice to world leaders in Mongolia 🇲🇳 in an UN event in July 4, 2018. Since then I started my movement called “Child Movement”. In Hindi, we called it “Bachpan Andolan” to call our world leaders to take immediate climate action. pic.twitter.com/79IQzQm2Sn
Licypriya started Bachpan Andolan at the age of six, calling the global leaders to take action against the climate crisis. Her tweets further talked about her contributions to save the planet and all the sacrifices she made for that. "I sacrificed so much of my life in this tender age, not to (be) called “Greta of India”," she wrote.
As I felt my work is more important than the organisation, I have less publicity and media coverage. Only media came to notice me when I spend a week in front of the Parliament House of India on July 21, 2019. Before that also, I began my Parliament Movement since Feb. 2, 2019.
I even dropped out my school since February 2019 (before Grade 1 final exam) when I was just 7 years old due to my protests every week in front of the Parliament House of India. I sacrificed so much of my life in this tender age is not to called me “Greta of India”.
Recently, Licypriya also shared that she's joined a new school after dropping out for 304 days "due to active #ClimateChange movement across the globe. She plans to continue school strikes for climate every Friday.