The Union Environment and Forests Ministry and WWF-India on Friday announced the names of the four-member youth delegation that will be part of the India contingent at the climate change summit in Copenhagen.

The four are – Ramsha Sajid (16) and Aadya Dube (17) of Carmel Convent Senior Secondary School, Bhopal; Ruchika Pokhriyal (19) of Acharya Narendra Dev College, New Delhi; and Deeksha Singh (20) of Patna Women’s College. They were selected through “Prithvi Ratna”, a national level essay writing competition for youth on climate change.

The objective of the competition was to inculcate a sense of ecological citizenship among the youth by providing them a platform to express their views. The winners will participate in the conference beginning next week.

Eight other finalists will travel to Jim Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand for an expedition.

Congratulating the delegates, Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh said: “This is first time that the youth have been included as part of an official delegation. I hope it will not be the last. The signal that we are sending is that the Environment and Forests Ministry is willing and looking forward to work with civil society and the younger generation. We want to work with the younger generation and create a mass movement about protecting the environment and taking responsibility.’’

The Minister said several programmes were being initiated along with WWF including saving of the Gangetic dolphins, bio-diversity conservation and bringing in new and improved devices to catch tiger poachers.

Excited and thrilled about being a part of the Indian delegation, the youth delegates said they were looking forward to the trip. “As generation next we are most affected by climate change. We have the most at stake if the world environment is not protected, so it only makes sense that we work towards protecting it,’’ said Ramsha Sajid.

“The youth should be included in various programmes aimed at protecting the environment. There are often a lot of talk about protecting the environment, but we are not able do to anything specific,’’ said Aadya Dube.

Stressing that climate change isn’t a future calamity but is already happening, Ruchika Pokhriyal said: “The meeting at Copenhagen will give us an idea about how decisions are made and how the entire world machinery functions.’’

Deeksha Singh said the trip will give the youth an opportunity to understand the implications of climate change and its far reaching effects. It’s time that the youth take on their responsibility towards the environment and make an effort to save it.’’

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