Guwahati: Identifying and granting constitutional rights to nature is the need of the hour. Striving to make it a reality, Sivasagar’s Nijara Phukan is on a green mission to voice her concerns and demands over the issue.
However, what makes 31-year-old Phukan’s journey interesting is that the activist and nature enthusiast is going to cover about 2,246 km by walking from her native place Sivasagar to New Delhi and submit a memorandum to President Ram Nath Kovind, consisting of seven main demands to raise awareness and prompt government action for nature preservation.
On her extraordinary and green journey for the environment, Phukan is being accompanied by ‘Forest Man of India’ Jadav Payeng’s daughter Munmuni Payeng and environment activist Pankhi Borah from Nagaon.
Phukan is a member of a group called Brikho Bondhu, an organisation of nature lovers who banded through Facebook to carry out plantation campaigns in and around Sivasagar. The 31-year-old realised that awareness on a local level and within our surrounding was not enough to tackle issues of pollution.
Speaking with EastMojo, Phukan said, “We undertook a foot march initiative [as] we all know only people’s awareness is not enough until the government does not put a stop to elements that are polluting the environment.” She added that the onus is on the government to put an end to all sources of pollutants and it is their responsibility to ensure clean air and water.
The trio plans to submit a memorandum to the Central government wherein they make seven demands which they have framed after consulting with Padma Shri awardee Jadav Payang and Rituraj Phukan from Green Guard Nature.
Phukan said that their foremost demand is for a constitutional act for nature rights, and setting up of a university on nature in Northeast India. They also want a proper implementation of the existing laws on nature and environment and setting up of environment security force in every ecological hot spot of the country.
Further, they have a special demand for a complete ban on plastic and promotion of the use of alternative eco-friendly materials. And they also demand for sustainable use of natural resources.
The trio has already covered around 300 km and plan of completing their journey by March 10, 2020.