The turnaround for Greta Thunberg from a lesser known invisible face to the leader of a movement that questions how global community has completely turned a blind eye towards climate change has been nothing short of phenomenal.
Short and tiny in demeanour, when she spoke to the world with tears rolling down her eyes, there was a sense that public speaking might be an issue with her, but she loved the thrill of a fight for the right cause.
Once in the lights, cameras and action mode, the smallest and youngest person in the room came across as the oldest soul on Capitol Hill.
A patient of Asperger’s syndrome, she is daughter to a mother who is a famous singer in Sweden.
When Greta spoke, she not only trained guns at the Republicans and Democrats with equal flat annoyance, even the not so loathsome adversaries were reminded she takes this issue seriously than most others. Even those in the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Climate.
Levelled, unflinching, soft and halting at times even she claims she is the most reluctant activist in modern times. But as social media influencers rule the roost, her raw honesty has got many talking about this girl.
Greta hit global headlines when she launched a tirade in front of Parliament in Stockholm.
“The symbolism of the climate strike is that if you adults don’t give a damn about my future, I won’t either,” she explained.
Starting as a sole warrior, by Day 2, she had company. By Week 2, a viral movement was all over social media and dignitaries at the UN’s climate change conference in Poland were suddenly all ears for this young girl.
A month later, she told the rich and powerful in Davos, Switzerland that the house is on fire.
In March, almost 1.5 million children in dozens of countries left classrooms and took to the streets. With strikes across 500 places in US alone, the Fridays for Future movement could double those numbers.
As Greta Thunberg’s agitation hits headlines, a 13-year old Canadian water activist named Autumn Peltier telling United Nations it was time to “warrior up” on World Water Day.
As the world goes gaga over Greta Thunberg’s thought-provoking speech on rising emissions, another Greta is lighting the lamp of protest. Among 16 child petitioners who complained of lack of government action on the climate crisis was Haridwar native Ridhima Pandey minces no words when she talks about the environment and blames the government for the current scenario.
Ridhima, a Class 8 student hit headlines in 2017 when she filed a petition in the National Green Tribunal against the government for failing to take action on climate change.
She contended that India is one of the most vulnerable countries and was already experiencing adverse impacts of climate change. Her parents cannot help but praise her. On the issue of Ganga cleaning, Ridhima claimed that not much progress is visible on the ground.
In New York, she was part of a fantastic league of activists like Thunberg, Alexandria Villasenor, Chiara Sacchi, Catarina Lorenzo, Iris Duquesne, Raina Ivanova, David Ackley III, Ranton Anjain, Litokne Kabua, Deborah Adegbile, Carlos Manuel, Ayakha Melithafa, Ellen-Anne, Raslen Jbeili and Carl Smith.