My dear children,
I am sorry.
I am sorry we have deprived you of the happiness of celebrating you and your day.
Your compassion, courage and commitment for other children, is the shining sun above the dense and dark clouds.
Yet, I was happy and proud to learn that on Children’s Day, thousands of you would stand up at India Gate for those of you, who are missing, kidnapped, trafficked and exploited.
We need new action. We must build a comprehensive accountable and binding strategy to tackle the pollution that claims lives. We need genuine and collective commitment from all parts of government, politicians, industry and society to create a stronger and coherent framework for action to tackle air pollution, as well as water and land contamination. We need this strategy to be backed with clear, time-bound and strict enforcement mechanisms.
I am straining to hear the sounds of your slogans, which have fallen silent grasping for breath. We have choked your voices in this gloomy polluted air. I found your handmade posters and placards, your demand letters, your hope from us, lying forlorn in my office.
This will come at a cost. We must be ready for some sacrifice in our comfort and growth, for life to sustain.
Standing with you, I call upon the Honourable Prime Minister of India, to demonstrate his visionary leadership by amending the Air Act 1981 and with a five-year national action plan to ensure clear air.
We must clean up our intentions and actions. All of us, the policy makers, the businesses, the consumers, the common people have to step up to take urgent and drastic steps to ensure that air, water and land remain clean and sustainable for the future.