“I Call Upon The PM To Ensure Clear Air”: Kailash Satyarthi’s Letter To India’s Children

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.

Your friend,
Kailash Satyarthi

Featured image source: Kailash Satyarthi/Facebook; Arvind Yadav/Hindustan Times via Getty Images.
Similar Posts

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below