All over the world over 6 million people are striking for the same concern and cause in across 200 nations, as a part of the movement called Fridays For Future, inspired by a 16-year-old Swedish Girl named Greta Thunberg.
In Guwahati, as many as 250 youngsters observed this event on November 29th, 2019. Bidishal Ghoshal, a Guwahati-based strike organiser said, “The climate is vulnerable at this point of time and that’s not what I am saying. This is what our scientists have been saying and I really don’t understand why the world leaders are taking so long to understand that climate change is real.”
Ghosal added, “The city of Guwahati has been in the news for its water shortage during the summers as well as floodwaters from the Brahmaputra, which flows through the city, during late-summer. Mudslides are common on the hills of this city as constructions continue on the hills unabated and without adequate investigation of the soil.”
“Deepor Beel has become a dumping ground of garbage for the city. We are dumping all the waste of the city on Deepor Beel which is a Ramsar site. The condition of air is worsening with time. We don’t have a single sewage system; inspite of plastic ban, it’s not being implemented. So I am here in the strike to make my voice heard. I am here to ask the authorities that why are they failing us inspite of knowing how dangerous the situation of climate is,” said Shirshendu Sekhar Das, another Guwahati-based strike organiser.
Juheb Hussain, another striker said that the measures have to be taken “very immediately or else we will fail the generations to come after us”.
“A 2014 report by the Assam State Disaster Management Agency highlighted the fact that Guwahati is currently unprepared to manage floods. And that climate change will increase their intensity in the future. For its own sake, and if the smart city effort is to have any hope at all, Guwahati must make managing its wetlands a key priority. We have laws but no implementation. We have punishments but no defaulter is being punished,” said Shivani Goyal, a strike organiser.
The strikers rallied from Dighalipukhuri via Cotton University, Gauhati High Court and arrived back at the park where they performed various music parody, read out their demands which included – Implement Solid Waste Management Rules 2016, Implement ban on single use plastic, Construct sewage treatment plant Bharalumukh, Urgently form State Wetland Authority, Act on the Central Pollution Control Board and State Pollution Control Board guidelines on idol immersion, Save trees, save riverfront, construct bridge, and Declare Climate Emergency.
Akhtar said, “We call upon all the policy makers, stakeholders, civil servants, private and government bodies to stand together firm and empathise with the fact that climate change is happening now and actions has not to be delayed further. It’s not just our (Fridays For Future’s) fight, it’s a fight of all to save our home and we need one and all in this fight.”