8-year-old Licypriya Kangujam demands climate action — just don’t call her the Greta of India


Licypriya leads a rural climate strike in October 2019. PHOTO/Licypriya Kangujam

No one is too young to make a difference.

That’s the theme behind today’s youth climate movement, and one that 8-year-old Licypriya Kangujam has taken to heart.

Licypriya, a youth climate activist from India, has campaigned for climate action in India for the last two years. Initially motivated by natural disasters, like the deadly earthquake that struck Nepal in 2015, Licypriya began her climate crusade at age 6, attending the 3rd Asia Ministerial Conference of Disaster Risks Reduction.

“I cry when I see children losing their parents and people becoming homeless due to the danger of disasters,” said Licypriya, in an email to Earth Day Network. “My heart feels sorrow for people who can’t help themselves when disaster strikes.”

In July 2018, Licypriya founded her own organization, The Child Movement, to enact climate law in India that protects the rights of children and creates resiliency in disaster. In February 2019, she began striking outside of India’s parliament.

Licypriya strikes outside India’s parliament in New Delhi.PHOTO/Licypriya Kangujam

Since starting The Child Movement, Licypriya has traveled to more than 32 countries and spoken at various conferences, including the United Nations’ 25th Conference of Parties (COP25). That platform thrust Licypriya into the international spotlight. It also inspired a label the outspoken 8 year old takes issue with: “the Greta of India.”

Frustrated with the moniker, Licypriya recently took to Twitter, writing “If you call me the Greta of India, you are not covering my story,” referring to 17-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, who many consider the face of the youth climate movement.

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