Licypriya Kangujam, an eight-year-old environmental activist has turned down Prime Minister Narendra Modi's offer to join his #SheInspiresUs campaign to honour the contribution of women on Women's Day 2020. She said that if her voice is not heard, the prime minister doesn't need to celebrate her.
"Dear @narendramodi Ji, Please don't celebrate me if you are not going to listen to my voice. Thank you for selecting me amongst the inspiring women of the country under your initiative #SheInspiresUs. After thinking many times, I decided to turn down this honour. Jai Hind!"
The Government of India is referring to the names of some Indian women who have worked on different issues in view of the International Women's Day on March 8. As part of this, the government put out a tweet hailing the child environmental activist.
"@LicypriyaK is a child environmental activist from Manipur. In 2019, she was awarded a Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Children Award, a World Children Peace Prize and an Indian Peace Prize. Isn't she inspiring? Do you know someone like her? Tell us using #SheInspiresUs," the MyGuvIndia had written on Twitter.
In response to this, Licypriya thanked the government but rejected the honour. She further said that she doesn't want to be praised for what she has been doing but instead of that, she would want the parliamentarians to raise her voice inside the Parliament during the current session. The activist slammed the members of Parliament terming them deaf and dumb and demanded the government to act.
"I don't need appreciation for this. Instead, ask your MPs to rise my voice at the ongoing Parliament session. Never attempt to use me for your political gains and propagandas. don't appreciate it. I'm not in your favour," she said in a series of tweets. "Your MPs also dumb, deaf and blind. Nothing more or less by Government ruling MPs. This is complete failure. Act Now. #ClimateCrisis"
Licypriya Kangujam and her resolve to fight climate change
Licypriya hails from India's northeastern state of Manipur and is a climate activist but doesn't like to be compared with Greta Thunberg, another teenager activist whose Fridays for Future school strike has grown into a global movement. She was awarded the International Children Peace Prize in 2019 and Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Children Award.
Licypriya has been demanding the Narendra Modi government to bring the Climate Change Act to curb India's high pollution levels. She wants the government to make climate change lessons mandatory in schools to spread awareness about the climate change problem.
When likened with the international icon and climate change activist Greta Thunberg, Licypriya said that she started a movement to fight climate change before Greta and would not want to be called Greta of India. However, she calls Greta a "good friend" and that they both respect each other.
Living in India's northeastern state of Manipur, Licypriya would accompany his father to raise funds for the victims of the Nepal earthquake in 2015 at a very young age. She started her activism after attending a UN disaster conference in Mongolia with her father in 2018. She has also founded The Child Movement, a body that "focuses on disaster risks reduction and protecting the rights of the children."