The young activist who has planted 3,50,000 trees6 min readReading Time: 4 minutes
Licypriya Kangujam was born in the lap of nature, in a small village in Manipur. In her early years, she was surrounded by lush green mountains and fresh air. Her move to Delhi in 2016, when she was all of four, brought out the activist in her. She was appalled at the poor air quality in the city! Later, she moved to Bhubhaneshwar where she saw the ravages from the cyclone Titli in 2018 and Fani in 2019. These incidents laid the foundation for the young Licypriya to speak for a green future!
“I never realized what I was doing was activism until 2018 when people started calling me a Climate Activist.”
Licypriya, went on to talk at United Nations conferences, set up a worldwide movement called The Child Movement, and push for constitutional changes to accommodate environmental protection. So far, she has travelled across 32 countries with her message for the planet!
Owliver met this green warrior to know her story of love, courage, and dedication.
How did it all begin?
Licypriya accompanied her father to raise funds for the people affected by the Nepal earthquake in 2015. She says, “This was the first time I had heard the words climate change and natural disasters.” She was all of three at that time. In 2018, she got the opportunity to attend the United Nations Disaster Conference in Mongolia that she calls a “life changing event”. After returning from Mongolia, Licypriya started The Child Movement, an international movement to call on world leaders to take immediate climate action to save the planet.
She also protested outside the Indian Parliament to bring about the Climate Change Law, a commitment for which she dropped out of school. In 2019, she addressed world leaders at United Nations Climate Conference 2019 (COP25) held in Madrid, Spain. She adds, “It helped me amplify my voice globally.”
What do you consider as your biggest achievement?
Licypriya is proud of the changes her efforts have brought forth. Owing to her protest in front of the Rashtrapati Bhawan, the President of India signed and approved an ordinance to enact this new air pollution law in India in 5 states on October 28, 2020. She is also working towards creating climate change as a compulsary subject in school curriculum. She adds, “India is now the second country, after Italy, to take this initiative. Over a thousand private schools across India, and the world, have made this addition on my request.” In a life spanning 9 years, Licypriya has already planted 3,50,000 trees all over the world. “I plant thousands of trees every week by celebrating “Monday for Mother Nature” with children of various schools across India,” adds Licypriya. Her mission is to plant one million trees each year.
What keeps you going?
“When I began the movement, I was alone but today, I have immeasurable love and support from across the globe.”
For Licypriya, the love and support she recieves from people around the world keeps her going!
How do you unwind?
Licypriya told Owliver that she receives close to 50-60 e-mails every week! Her weekends are spent in conferences and delivering talks on climate awareness. The very busy activist loves to play with her friends, and her sister, in her free time. She calls it “her happiest time”!
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Licypriya’s plan for the environment coincide with her plans for herself. She says, “I will continue my activism until I achieve my goals.”
In the future, Licypriya also wants to become a space scientist!
Do you have a message for our readers?
Licypriya’s green message is about what we can do to improve the health of our environment. She says, “Children must tell their parents that they shouldn’t use car or bike every time. They should use the bicycle if it’s nearby or they can use public transport. Please don’t use single use plastics at home. And please don’t throw plastics or garbage into oceans, rivers, seas, roads or anywhere else. And please plant more trees. Trees help us control the carbon emissions and green house gases.
Hear Licypriya talk about climate change in her TED Talk:
Licypriya’s efforts are directed towards creating a healthier home for all of us. She teaches us that age is just a number and real change can be brought on with well intentioned dedication. Let’s learn from this trailblazer and do our part in ensuring the safety of our planet for all generations to come!
After all, it is the only home we know.
Think with Owliver:
Find out more about Licypriya’s favourite person, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam and share your learnings with Owliver in the comments below!
Would you like to nominate someone you know to be featured in this column? Write to us at email@example.com with their name, age, and what makes them a Trailblazer.