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11-yr-old Indian girl joins Greta to file UN plaint

, TNN|
Sep 25, 2019, 05.19 AM IST
PTI photo
DEHRADUN: "How dare you?" These three words by Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg shook the world's conscience at the UN summit for climate action on Monday. Thunberg, along with 15 other children, then filed a landmark complaint at the UN against five countries citing rights violations by not acting on climate issues. Among the complainants was an Indian face, 11-year-old Ridhima Pandey.

Over phone from the US, Ridhima vividly recalls how disaster struck the Himalayas in 2013. That was the year her father was transferred to Haridwar. "There was a rush of rescue personnel and mediapersons at that time. It was sheer helplessness on everybody's face. Many children were orphaned in the man-made disaster. That's when I asked my father why and how it happened. He spoke to me at length about climate change and other activities harmful to nature. It opened my eyes. Now I know we don't want such a frightening future where children are orphaned, people are suffering and ecosystems are collapsing."

A Class VIII student at BMDAV School in Haridwar, Ridhima said she filed the complaint as she didn't want a rerun of the 2013 disaster. The complaint was lodged through the Third Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, a voluntary mechanism that allows children, or adults on their behalf, to appeal directly to the UN for help if a country that has ratified the protocol fails to provide a remedy for a rights violation .

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