Licypriya Kangujam, an eight year old young activist from Manipur is fighting against climate change.
She has been campaigning for action to tackle climate change in India for two years. Licypriya is often labeled as “Indian Greta Thunberg”. She rejects the comparison and appeals to the media to recognize her identity and story.
“I already began a movement to fight climate change before Greta started,” she said, adding that the two are “good friends” who “respect each other”.
The pair both attended the UN climate change conference, also known as COP25, in the Spanish capital Madrid in December.
Licypriya said “I cry when I see children lose their parents or become homeless due to the dangers of disasters”.
Licypriya remembers that being a small child she used to accompany her father on fund raising events for victims of a powerful and deadly earthquake in Nepal in 2015.
But it was after attending a UN disaster conference in Mongolia with him in 2018 that she felt the need to get involved in activism.
She has even designed what she calls her Sukifu device – a symbolic survival kit for the future she created to emphasize the need to curb air pollution in the country. It is almost a zero budget kit designed from recycling trash to provide fresh air into our body when the pollution rate is high. This wearable plant is a recognition of the Green Movement for air pollution.
“I got lots of inspiration and new knowledge from the people giving speeches. It was a life-changing event,” she added.
“My heart feels sore for people who cannot help themselves when disaster strikes.”
Licypriya has also campaigned, often alone, for new laws to help address the issue of poor air quality across India.
Making climate change a compulsory subject to be taught from an early age in schools nationwide is one of Licypriya’s main aims.