Mumbai

Numbers dwindle at climate change protest

Marching in dying light: Residents take part in the Global Climate Strike, which was organised to raise awareness of the climate crisis, in Bandra on Friday.

Marching in dying light: Residents take part in the Global Climate Strike, which was organised to raise awareness of the climate crisis, in Bandra on Friday.   | Photo Credit: Arunangsu Roy Chowdhury

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Barely 200 people turn up for Fridays for Future event versus 2,000 two months ago

Nearly 200 people participated in a protest organised by Fridays for Future (FFF), an NGO working in the field of climate change, in Bandra on Friday. The number was significantly less as 2,000 people had participated in the protest two months ago.

Called the Global Climate Strike, the protest was organised to raise awareness of the climate crisis in India and around the world.

Lalita Deonalli, a volunteer at FFF, said students from several schools were invited to join the protest this time but none of them showed up. “As soon as school authorities hear the word ‘strike’, they back out,” Ms. Deonalli said.

The participants marched on the Carter Road promenade and held a discussion about climate change. Slogans like, ‘We want climate emergency’ were chanted.

Actor Dia Mirza, who was among the protesters, said, “There is no power in the world that can undermine that of togetherness.” She said everyone must collectively fight for the cause. Another FFF volunteer, Sachin Jacob, said, “The air is so polluted today that if it were any other country, a climate emergency would have already been declared. We get most of the oxygen we need from coral reefs. While we are polluting our seas, we are also reducing the production of oxygen from them.” The participants’ age group ranged from 17 to 70. Shivrajeshwar Dhondge (17), a Class XII student and member of the NGO Extinction Rebellion, said, “We have all heard about the scientific reports which said Mumbai will be under water by the year 2050, but the fact is, the effect will start from around 2030. People know about it but don’t take it seriously. They are also scared about it and are living in denial.”

‘Need more awareness’

Rusi Nariman (72), said, “The crisis is all over the world and everyone needs to know about it. We love the colour of nature but there are some people who love the colour of money, and are asleep on this issue.” The recent cutting of trees at the Aarey Forest found mention in the protest. “More awareness is needed and such deforestation should be stopped. Flooding has been a serious issue in Mumbai and we have to be serious about such topics,” said Nimish Malde (52), who has been part of the Save Aarey movement.

The protest also included a rap song by a group from Fort titled Khabardaar. However, the police interrupted the song midway after it started criticising the previous government over the Aarey tree cutting issue.

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Printable version | Dec 14, 2019 6:54:37 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/numbers-dwindle-at-climate-change-protest/article30119860.ece

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