Licypriya Kangujam, 10, from Manipur, is a globally recognised climate activist. Surprisingly, people in her own country do not know her.
She was recently referred to as a “foreign tourist” by a Samajwadi Party leader. He was responding to Kangujam’s tweet highlighting littering around the Taj Mahal.
“It is very shameful that foreign tourists are showing a mirror to the government,” Manish Jagan Agrawal, Samajwadi Party’s digital media coordinator, said on June 22. “This image of India and Uttar Pradesh has been created by the BJP government.”
Soon, Licypriya Kangujam corrected him. “Hello sir, I'm a proud Indian. I'm not a foreigner,” she said.
I'm a proud Indian. I'm not a foreigner. https://t.co/KBshDFJzQM
— Licypriya Kangujam (@LicypriyaK) June 22, 2022
The activist had on June 21 shared a photo of herself near the Taj Mahal. Plastic bags and bottles were seen scattered behind her.
She held up a placard that said “behind the beauty of Taj Mahal is plastic pollution”.
Kangujam’s tweet compelled the authorities to take action. They ordered a clean-up of the area and fined the company responsible for sanitation around the Taj Mahal.
Happy to see my one tweet forced to clean garbage around Taj Mahal by the authorities yesterday. But I want a permanent solution. Ban single use plastic completely in & around all heritage site of India under a law.
Anyway change is coming whether you like it or not. pic.twitter.com/jMM7v8WVas— Licypriya Kangujam (@LicypriyaK) June 23, 2022
“Happy to see my one tweet forced the authorities to clean garbage around Taj Mahal yesterday,” she tweeted on June 24. “But I want a permanent solution. Ban single use plastic completely in and around all heritage site of India under a law. Any way change is coming whether you like it or not.”
Kangujam, one of the world’s youngest environment activists, has been calling for laws to tackle high pollution levels in India.
In September 2019, she also protested for a week outside the parliament to press for a climate change law.
Often compared to Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, Kangujam has participated in many international events. In December 2019, she addressed global leaders leaders at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Madrid.
Kangujam has said she wants to become a “space scientist” to save humanity.
“I will go to the moon and I will research how we can get the fresh air to breathe, and how we can get water, fresh water to drink, and food, how to grow the crops,” she was quoted as saying by Reuters.(With inputs from Reuters)