Ranchi, Jharkhand | November | 18, 2020 :: To mark World Children’s Day 2020, children in Jharkhand deliberate on Climate Change with Legislators and Government
Young advocates from coalition of NGOs with Support of UNICEF & NINEISMINE (PRATYeK) join hands to organise a State Children’s Climate Parliament to initiate dialogue on climate change
“Children are the least responsible for climate change, yet they will bear the greatest burden of its impact.”
World Children’s Day (WCD) is a global day of action for children, by children, marking the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) on November 20 in 1989. In India, a week of activities and events are being rolled out from National Children’s Day on 14 November leading up to WCD.
Climate Change is a key theme of the WCD celebrations in India. Young people across the world are speaking up about climate risks and the action that governments across the world need to take. UNICEF Jharkhand in partnership with NINEISMINE (PRATYeK) organised a State Children’s Climate Parliament today to enable young citizens of Jharkhand to proactively engage on Climate Change and the Sustainable Development Goal 13 of the United Nations.
Children engaged with the MLAs from Jharkhand – Ms Deepika Pandey, MLA from Mahagama, Mr Amit Mandal,MLA from Godda, bureaucrats – Mr. Amrendra Pratap, IAS, Principal Secretary, Department of Forest, Environment & Climate Change, and Dr. Sanjay Jha, Chief Engineer ED, PMU, DWSD to present their interventions and solutions to the impact of climate change.
Children also presented a charter of demands on climate change which they have been working on since the last seven months. Young people were inspired with the presence of eminent people such as Mr. Prasanta Dash and Ms. Astha Alang from UNICEF Jharkhand and Steve Rocha from PRATYeK/NINEISMINE.
Mr Prasanta Dash, Chief of Field Office, UNICEF Jharkhand said, “Climate Change is a very important issue especially since children are the worst impacted by pollution. The effects of climate change – diseases, droughts and floods that destroy food sources and livelihoods – further exacerbate risks to children and deepen deprivations for millions. Reaching these children and so many others like them is their right and the fair thing to do especially since we have now moved into the age of Sustainable Development Goals, which were adopted on September 25, 2015 to end poverty and ensure prosperity for all. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goal 13 urges us to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts”
Now is the time to sensitize and create new opportunities for the children because “Children are the least responsible for climate change, yet they will bear the greatest burden of its impact.” It is an initiative to bring all children on board to amplify their voices and culminate sensitivity towards mother earth. This rendezvous of 9-days with series of innovative learning from 1st November aims to give children a platform to re-think, re-evaluate and re-build their future by providing them an opportunity to interact with MLAs, bureaucrats, and local stakeholders to prepare them for 20th November i.e. the National Climate Parliament, where children will advocate for their rights and the rights of the earth and pave the way for their recommendations and ask their leaders and policy makers to bring a positive change for the betterment of the greater earth community.
Mr Amrendra Pratap Singh, Principal Secretary, Forest, Environment & Climate Change Department, GoJ, said, “We need to increase forest intensity in the state, for that we should make people aware to use their backyard for plantation. We also need to reduce wood based fuel, so that carbon footprint could be reduced. Children can play an important role in this regard by making people aware to not cut trees and reduce the use of natural resources. The need of the hour is to reduce our greed and control our needs.”
Ms Deepika Pandey, Member of Legislative Assembly, Jharkhand, said “The present generation is much ahead of us. They are very aware about climate and environment. I want to congratulate these children for their wonderful work. We all need to come forward to save the earth, so that it could make our lives better for the children. We need to work on policies to make it environment and child friendly. We must stop use of single use plastic and use local made sustainable products. Only by becoming aware about our nature and our surroundings we would be able to reduce the impact of climate change on our children and our future.”
Mr Amit Mandal, Member of Legislative Assembly, Jharkhand, said, “We know that the industrial revolution has greatly impacted our nature and the earth as well. Only through the learning from our ancestors and forefathers, we would be able to reduce the risk of climate change. Our ancestors were nature worshippers and protectors. Through this, actually they have given us a message to love your nature and protect them. We are committed to work to save nature. I extend my support to this initiative for the betterment of the world and for the future of the children.”
PRATYeK, a child rights organization with an emphasis on ‘Presence and Right-relations for Advocacy and Training of the Young in Earth-rights and Kids-rights’. PRATYeK in Hindi means ‘every being’ and it captures the essence of realizing all rights for and ensuring all opportunities to every child and every member of the earth community in India, if not the world. ‘e’ also stands for Education, Empathy, Empowerment, Equity, for Every right, for the Earth, for Every Child-for Everyone