Students from nearly six schools from Shillong participated in the climate strike march in Meghalaya on Friday Credit: EastMojo image 

Shillong: School students in Meghalaya’s capital city Shillong on Friday abandoned their classes and took to the streets to join the global climate strike.

Large numbers of school children carried out a march from Madan lewrynghep to the additional secretariat’s parking area on Friday morning raising their voice against climate change. The students were seen marching on the streets raising slogans like, “What do we want? Climate justice!” and “When do we want it?”

Students holding placards to alert people about the alarming global climate change

The global climate strike that has spread out all around the globe under the banner of ‘Fridays for Future’, witnessed the participation of students from nearly six schools of the city, including Joel Blah Kyndiah, Justin Rangad, Pratham Gurung, Anthea Jana, Da-e-Mitre Pariat and Bryan Warjri.

Besides carrying out a slogan march on the streets, the school students also submitted a memorandum to the Meghalaya state government suggesting and appealing the authorities to take up an initiative in fighting the global menace.

In its memorandum to the state government, the school students highlighted six points related to climate change in the context of Shillong to the authorities concerned.

The six points in the memorandum are:

1. We urge the Meghalaya government to recognise that we are in the midst of an ecological breakdown and to acknowledge that climate change is a real problem which requires immediate attention.

2. We urge the government to address the issue of congestion in the city of Shillong, by implementing mandatory use of public transportation from schools, such as school buses which will help in reducing traffic congestion and carbon emissions.

3. Recommend the establishment of ‘Meghalaya Climate Change Assessment Commission’ that will consist of environment and ecological experts such as academics, research fellows and scientist

4. Recommend that rainwater harvesting system mandatory for procurement of licenses to develop new real estates projects such as houses, government offices and commercial buildings in the state.

5. Recommend the implementation of a policy, ‘PT Tuesdays and Thursdays’ or ‘Public Transportation Tuesdays and Thursdays’, a plan which aims to make the use of public transportation compulsory for all government servants on such appointed days.

6. Also, make Meghalaya towns cycle friendly and have a cycle, and ban single-use plastics particularly straws and cutlery in the state.

Speaking with EastMojo, Joel Blah Kyndiah, a student leader, expressed that If the students around the world are protesting for the basic right of a clean and better future, then the people from Shillong can also do the same.

“We stand in solidarity with the rest of the global campaign today, which is the global climate strike, demanding for our rights of a clean, better future,” Kyndiah added.

Kyndiah further informed that the turnout in ‘Shillong climate strike 2.0’ has been pretty impressive compared to the first one that was held in the month of May this year.

Interestingly, the climate change that has been observed in Shillong recently with a temperature record up to 28 degrees Celsius in the month of August this year is seriously alarming compared to the earlier years. The prevailing traffic congestion in the city might be another factor that is adding into the rise of temperature.

Significantly, the students participating in the march got furious upon reaching at the embarkment point as cars and other vehicles were parked on the spot. Following this, students assembled in the middle of the road, which led to a massive traffic congestion in the area on Friday. People came out of their vehicles curiously to find out what the big march and slogans were all about.

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