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Nine-Year-Old Girl Sues India’s Government

Most nine-year-old children are concerned with what game they are going to play during recess or what
they are going to watch on the television when they go home after school. Not many nine-year-olds are forced to live in the thick smog of their city that prevents them from breathing fresh air. Ridhima Pandey is one of those nine-year-old children living in a polluted area, and she is trying to make a change.

As the daughter of an environmental activist, Pandey wants the Indian government to pass laws that protect the environment for the sake of future generations. According to The Guardian, “A nine-year-old girl has filed a lawsuit against the Indian government for failing to take action on climate change, warning that young people will pay the price for the country’s inaction.”

Pandey reached out to the National Green Tribunal, which specializes in environmental cases, to coerce the government to implement laws that regulate the fuels and emissions contributing to poor environments.

“My country has huge potential to reduce the use of fossil fuels, and because of the government’s inaction I approached the National Green Tribunal,” she stated in an interview with Independent.

Currently, India’s failure to protect the environment has had major impacts. Thousands of people have died in these past three years just in Pandey’s home state of Uttarakhand alone, according to Independent. According to The Guardian, “nearly 1.2 million Indians die each year owing to high concentrations of airborne pollutants such as dust, mould spores, arsenic, lead, nickel and the carcinogen chromium.”

Pandey is deeply concerned with the way that the environment is currently being affected by greenhouse gas emissions and other environmentally hazardous agents. Mostly, however, she is concerned with how communities and individuals are affected by the dangers of a poor environment. One of the young girl’s goals is to make her country a safe place to live for future generations.

“My government has failed to take steps to regulate and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which are causing extreme climate conditions. This will impact both me and future generations,” she stated to Independent. With the potentially lethal conditions that Pandey is currently living in in India, it is a surefire that the environment will only get much worse if India does not take action.

Pandey is a young girl with a big dream of seeing her country keep its promises on climate change. Although she is just a child, and it is not likely that her lawsuit will see any immediate change, it is a step in the right direction. Pandey believes that she can make a real change to India’s smoggy future and she is a true inspiration for any young child who wishes to use their voice in society.

Hopefully, she will be successful in her efforts to make the government see the harmful impact ignoring environmental regulations has on its people.

“That a young girl is doing so much to draw the government’s attention is something. We hope the case puts some pressure on the government to act,” said Pandey’s lawyer to The Guardian.

Pandey’s powerful efforts to urge the government to protect the environment could just be the push India needs for the sake of its future.

Featured Image by Russ Bowling on Flickr
Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

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