The first question that comes to mind is this – why does an 8-year-old child have a Twitter account? Twitter and other social media sites are not a healthy place for any young child to be. If you guessed that climate change alarmism is at the core of the reason, you’re correct. It turns out that India has its own Greta Thunberg.
Licypriya Kangujam is a young girl in India who, like Greta, is spreading adult talking points on climate change. Like Greta, Licypriya is coached by her father, an activist himself. But do not call her the Greta Thunberg of India because she will not be happy. She explained that she was the first child scold on climate change, not Greta, in a thread on Twitter.
Stop calling me “Greta of India”. I am not doing my activism to looks like Greta Thunberg. Yes, she is one of our Inspiration & great influencer. We have common goal but I have my own identity, story. I began my movement since July 2018 even before Greta was started. pic.twitter.com/3UEqCVWYM8
— Licypriya Kangujam (@LicypriyaK) January 27, 2020
I even dropped out my school since February 2019 (before Grade 1 final exam) when I was just 7 years old due to my protests every week in front of the Parliament House of India. I sacrificed so much of my life in this tender age is not to called me “Greta of India”.
— Licypriya Kangujam (@LicypriyaK) January 27, 2020
It sounds like she’s irritated that Greta is hogging all the publicity, doesn’t it? Not only does she say she’s the original child protester over climate change but she also does it weekly, as Greta has promoted with her Fridays for Future. Licypriya says she began in July 2018, where as Greta officially began her protesting in August 2018. So, apparently she had a one month jump on Greta. She notes that she is sacrificing “so much” that she doesn’t want to be called the “Greta of India”. Twitter didn’t take kindly to Licypriya speaking up for herself and it suspended her account. It was a temporary action, though, and her account was quickly restored.
After the suspension was lifted, Kangujam said her posts weren’t abusive nor “against anyone.”
“I just used Greta name as to stop calling me ‘Greta of India’ by some media for my activities. My post had over 1.9 million views in the last 2 days with over 135,000 likes and over 29,000 shares,” she told WION.
She also doubts that her age was a factor behind her suspension.
Her mission is to get the attention of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and hold him to his word that he is a champion of clean energy. She wants India to follow through on pledges made in support of the 2015 climate change agreement. Like Greta, she is full of doom and gloom that adults have already ruined the planet. “It is already too late.”
Her conviction won over even U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres at COP25, but Licypriya came away from the experience frustrated.
“I heard many speeches from our leaders. … ‘We will do this and that … we will, we will, we will.’” She stops and looks at her father. Finally, the child in her makes a cameo — she has lost her train of thought and what they had written down prior to our meeting. Her father prompts her in their native Manipuri language. “But in the end, the conference failed. It was such a waste of time and money,” she quickly remembers.
I was glad to meet 8-year-old @LicypriyaK at #COP25 today. Her presence reminds us of our obligations to future generations. Hers is the generation for which we have to take urgent #ClimateAction. pic.twitter.com/Z9UBvqsfnC
— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) December 12, 2019
She’s worried about clean water supplies and wants climate change education to be mandatory in schools. Her father is Dr. KK Singh, a local youth activist. He says that at age four, his daughter was captivated with a friend of his, K Abdul Ghani (aka the Green Man of India). That is when she fell prey to climate change propaganda. She hit the global summit circuit.
At age 6, she participated in the Third Asian Ministerial Conference for Disaster Reduction in Mongolia. She came home to start the Child Movement, to call on world leaders to take urgent climate action. She’s become a regular on the global summit circuit, visiting 21 countries so far, and has racked up awards, including the India Peace Prize. At age 7, she organized Africa’s biggest climate protest in Luanda, the capital of Angola, where 50,000 other children joined her.
She holds weekly protests in front of Parliament of India and because of her active participation in protesting, she has dropped out of school. She’s eight years old. Instead of her parents and the child being heralded as heroes of the climate change movement, stories should point out that this is a form of child abuse, at least that is the opinion of many adults. Her father has his own history of making headlines with activism.
Back in 2016, Manipur’s Imphal Free Press reported that Singh had been arrested for impersonating a U.N. official, though no one seems to know what happened to the case.
She is seeing some success. Two states in India have made climate change a mandatory subject in school curriculums.
Its official now! Gujarat will be the second state in India 🇮🇳 after Rajasthan to include climate change as a compulsory subject in the school education curriculum after my request. Yes! Activism works! ✊🏻 pic.twitter.com/RfgxrR02gB
— Licypriya Kangujam (@LicypriyaK) February 3, 2020
Licypriya says she will go back to school in April. Let’s hope so.
Even as her activism accelerates, Licypriya plans to return to school in April. “I want to become a space scientist — build a rocket and go to the moon,” she says. Her reason speaks to the urgency of her mission. “At this rate, by the time I grow up, Earth will be uninhabitable.”
Perhaps someone should let the child know that a postive message is more inspiring than doom and gloom. Instead of painting a picture of hopelessness, she could be inspiring her generation with ways in which they can make a difference. But first, she should go back to school and her parents should let her be a kid for a while. Turning a four year old into an activist is child abuse.