Chandigarh: 8-year-old Indian Child Climate Activist Licypriya Kangujam and Dr SS Sandhu, Chancellor of Chandigarh University honoured today with the SDGs Ambassador Award 2019 during the 10th Session of the United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) at Chandigarh University by NITI Aayog, Government of India & Dainik Bhaskar. They also appointed as the Honorary SDGs Ambassador till 2030.
United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) was launched on 18 November 2010 by Former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at UN Headquarters in New York City.
The Award was handed over to Licypriya by Deepak Dwivedi, Chairman & Editor-in-Chief of Dainik Bhaskar in a glittering ceremony in presence of Mr Michael Oquaye, Ghana Envoy to India, Shri Amitabh Kant, CEO of NITI Aayog and other high-level dignitaries and officials from various agencies.
The program was held in collaboration with World Health Organization (WHO), ONGC, Nagrik Foundation, Dr Ambedkar International Centre, Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Government of India, Chandigarh University & UNAI.
SDGs Choupal was also launched during the closing ceremony to implement various projects to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on the ground by focusing on the rural areas of India with equal participation. The vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi was also highlighted in a short film.
Licypriya said, “I am coming all the way thousands of kilometres by raising funds to tell you adults that you must change your way of thinking. Coming here today, I have no hidden agenda. I am fighting for my future.”
She said “Losing my future is not like losing an election or few points on the stock market. I am here to speak for all generations to come. I am here to speak on behalf of the starving children around the world who cries and go unheard. I am here to speak for the countless animals dying on this planet because they have nowhere to go. I am afraid to go to the sun now because there is a hole in our ozone. I am afraid to breathe the air because I don’t know what chemicals are on it”.
“Governments are busy in blaming each other instead of finding long term solutions on the deadly air pollution. No children are unable to go out of the home in Delhi. All schools have been shut down by the Government. They are just telling the speech. I want the government to do more action. They must act now otherwise our future will be dying”, Licypriya stated.
“Why should I come and speak here. I have to go to my school; I have to read my books. I have to play. I have to study. But you all ruined my childhood life and my beautiful future.
Please understand my feelings. Please protect our environment and please save our future”, she added.
Hundreds of participants made the standing ovation to her after the speech as a salute to her courage and inspirations.
Mr Michael Oquaye, Ghana Envoy to India lauded Licypriya Speech and said, “Donald Trump must listen to this speech of an 8 years old girl. Our leaders must unite now to fight global challenges. When I was 8 years old, I am not sure we can even read and write. Licypriya’s speech changes my day and this is the most attentive speech I ever heard.”
Amitabh Kant, CEO of NITI Aayog stressed that “India, home to one-sixth of all humanity, is cognizant of its role and responsibility in working towards a sustainable future of the planet and all its life. The country has taken proactive steps at the national and sub-national levels to adopt, implement, and monitor SDGs. The localization of SDGs is an agenda of central importance”.
Deepak Dwivedi, Chairman of Dainik Bhaskar said, “SDGs Chaoupal is an innovative vehicle to enable partnerships in global development to bring about transformational collaboration and strengthen the role of philanthropy in the 2030 Agenda. This will adopt a systemic and inclusive approach to funding and policy work, shifting from fragmented individual projects to long-term collaborative efforts in line with national priorities and the SDGs.”
“We have pledged to work hard to take this initiative in every part of the society so that India becomes the 1st nation to achieve the 17 sustainable development goals enacted by the United Nations,” said Dr SS Sandhu, Chancellor of Chandigarh University.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted in September 2015 as a part of the resolution, ‘Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’. India is committed to achieving the 17 SDGs and the 169 associated targets, which comprehensively cover social, economic and environmental dimensions of development and focus on ending poverty in all its forms and dimensions. At the Central Government level, NITI Aayog has been assigned the role of overseeing the implementation of SDGs in the country under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
To spread awareness about the Goals, bring together stakeholders and build capacities for the realization of SDGs, NITI Aayog has organized several national and regional level consultations.