Climate change activist, 12-year-old Ridhima Pandey is among the four Indians who have made it to the list recently published by BBC. British Broadcasting Corp.(BBC) issued a list of “Top 100 inspiring and influential women from around the world for 2020” on Tuesday. The website describes Ridhima as “a climate activist who, at the age of nine files a petition against the government of India in response to its inaction to mitigate climate change.”
Incident that changed Ridhima’s life
Back in 2013, Ridhima saw the devastating effect of climate change due to Kedarnath flood claiming hundreds of lives. The incident moved her so much that she filed a petition in National Green Tribunal against the government in 2017. At that time, she was only 9 years old. The petition claimed that the government has failed to take action on climate change. Moreover, concern over pollution and environmental degradation were also highlighted. But to her dismay, the Tribunal replied that climate change issue already comes under the environment impact assessment and thus rejected her plea. However, NGT said the authorities working under Environment(Protection) Act,1986 have to perform their duties as per statutory scheme which has not been challenged in her petition. Supreme Court will now be looking after the matter.
Why is Ridhima known as India’s Greta Thunberg?
We all must have heard the boldest speech delivered by Greta Thunberg at U.N Climate Action Summit. It was an eye-opener for people who treat environment recklessly. Ridhima accompanied Greta in the protests against the careless attitudes of government towards climate change. It happened at UN Climate Action Summit where Ridhima was the only young activist from India. Further, 16 child petitioners from 12 countries filed an official complaint together to the UN Committee on the Rights of Child. Since then, her continuous efforts for campaigns and protests made people compare her with Thunberg. Ridhima attends International conferences and tries to inspire youngsters to join her. She is striving hard to save her future and that of coming generations.
Ridhima on being selected in BBC’s list
Ridhima is still in awe on seeing her name in such a prestigious list. She says, ” It’s a pleasant surprise for being internationally recognised. The recognition would help me in carrying forward the work for the cause of environment and climate change. I hope many more women will get to feature in the same list from India in coming years.” Meanwhile, BBC enlist those women who are bringing change and making a difference in the society.
82-years-old Bilkis Bano, Para-badminton world champion Manasi Joshi and Tamil Nadu’s Isaivani were the other three Indian women to make a place in BBC’s Most Influential Women list.