Climate change activist Licypriya Kangujam wins T.N. Khoshoo Memorial Award

November 25, 2020 12:00 am | Updated 05:01 am IST - Bengaluru

Licypriya Kangujam with the award .Special Arrangement

Licypriya Kangujam with the award .Special Arrangement

In 2016, at the age of five, Licypriya Kangujam and her family moved from their home state, Manipur, to New Delhi. She was shocked and saddened to see the levels of pollution in the nation’s capital. Later, Licypriya moved to Bhubaneswar, where she saw first hand the devastating impact of cyclones on people’s livelihoods.

“Coming from a State filled wit lush green mountain ranges, I was disturbed. These incidents turned me into a climate activist,” said Licypriya, who is the recipient of this year’s T.N. Khoshoo Memorial Award.

Compulsory subject

These events only spurred Licypriya, now 9, to work towards protecting, preserving and nurturing the environment. “I have been fighting hard to make climate change a compulsory subject in the school curriculum. States including Sikkim and Rajasthan have responded positively,” she said.

The award includes a cash prize of Rs. 100,000, which Licypriya said she will use to help victims of armed conflict across the world. The award — named after the late environmental scientist and academic Triloki Nath Khoshoo — was constituted by the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE) in 2004.

The year’s theme was ‘The science and art of outreach for environment’.

Through music

Grammy-winning musician and environmentalist Ricky Kej, who delivered the memorial lecture, spoke about bridging the gap between art and science, and the power of the performing arts to spread awareness. “Music can be a catalyst to inform, inspire and encourage people from awareness to action. The emotional reach of music can change hearts and minds,” he said. He stressed on the importance of educating children on issues like climate change.

Involving communities

Jahnavi Phalkey, director, Science Gallery, Bengaluru, and Satyakit Bhatkal, CEO, Paani Foundation, spoke about the importance and impact of community-based communication for science and environment.

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