Kindergarten students participating in the strike  Credit: EastMojo image

Gangtok: In a bid to create awareness among the masses on conservation of environment, members of the Affected Citizens of Teesta (ACT), Scavengers Darjeeling, students and youngsters from various schools and colleges, leading citizens, environmentalists, social activists and others took part in the day-long ‘global climate strike’ outside district administrative centre in East Sikkim on Friday.

Gyatso Lepcha, a leading environmentalist-cum-general secretary of ACT, highlighted how people, especially the youths, are concerned about the climate change that is hampering the earth. “To witness the acceptance that global warming and climate change is for real. It’s time we support the signs and it’s good to see the support globally for the cause,” he said.

In Sikkim’s context, Lepcha stressed that it has a fragile ecosystem and 98% landmass depends on river Teesta. “However, the hydroelectric projects have dampened the river and the ecology of the state which is really saddening,” he said. He also expressed his shock over the suggestion of the finance commission in seeking financial assistance from international banks.

“It is destructive in nature. We already have 15 dams in the state and there is no success story of a single dam. They should reconsider their decision as Teesta Satge III is a classic example of how they have failed economically and environmentally. We hope that the commission will come up with new sustainable ideas rather than encouraging such harmful projects,” expressed Lepcha.

He further expressed his happiness to see small kindergarten students participating in the strike and witness participation from students who have traveled seven hours to be here. “Future looks good. There are people who care and are bothered due to climate change. It is really inspiring and motivating,” he added.

Lepcha further urged everyone to support the cause in real and not just via likes and comments on social media.

Students in traditional Lepcha attire during the ‘global climate strike’ on Friday
Global climate strike organised outside District Administrative Centre of East Sikkim

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