Climate Greta Thunberg grew up, and the climate movement has a new child star: Licypriya Kangujam, 9, makes air out of water, but is she just her father’s project?

The Indian girl agreed to the HS interview only by email.


Indian Licypriya Kangujam press for a long day. Before the coronavirus pandemic, he gave about 400 speeches in a total of 32 countries around the world in a couple of years.

Kangujam leads an environmental organization, applies for a patent for his invention, plants thousands of trees and responds to dozens of emails after his actual day at work.

Sometimes, though, he plays with his little sister, as the child star of climate activism is only nine years old.

The world’s most famous climate aquatist Greta Thunbergin having reached the age of majority earlier this month, Kangujam is perhaps the best known of the baby stars of the climate movement.

At the turn of September-October, Licypriya Kangujam’s schedule included an interview with the news agency Reuters, a video recording from Oxford University and her own nine-year birthdays.­

Kangujam already attracted international attention at the UN Climate Summit in Madrid in December 2019.

Kangujam, one of the youngest speakers in UN history at the time, had to wait for his speech to begin when the microphone was lowered to the level of his head.

Licypriya Kangujam spoke at the UN Climate Summit in Madrid in December 2019 as a recipient of the Children’s Peace Prize.­

It didn’t moment the Indian girl, but she waved the decision-makers of the world with her skewed voice: “The decision-makers just talk, nothing happens. I want our decision makers to work. Otherwise, we have no future. ”

Kangujam came to be called “Greta Thunberg of India”. He does not like the definition but responds: “I am Indian Licypriya Kangujam.”

Kangujam started activism as early as the age of four, when he raised money with his father for the victims of the Nepal earthquake.

“Back then, I was pretty small and didn’t really understand everything,” Kangujam tells HS in an email.

He says he understood that he was an activist when he attended the UN Conference on Natural Disasters in Mongolia at the age of six. After receiving an environmental awakening, he founded an organization called The Child Movement.

Kangujamin the individuality of the quotes in this article should be treated with caution, as he did not agree to a traditional interview or even a video meeting. He asked questions in advance and sent in-depth answers via email. They came in the morning.

According to critics, Kangujam is in fact the forefront of his father’s political agenda, whose actions and sayings are directed by his father. The father is a doctor by profession, the mother is at home.

Influencers always have advisors and speakers, but Kangujam’s father is also said to be harassing the background forces in a questionable way. Critics say at least some of the prizes Kangujam has received have been awarded by a party whose backgrounds include his father.

Licypriya Kangujam posed in front of her award cabinet in September.­

Kangujam is an active setter with tens of thousands of followers on various channels, although due to his age he is not allowed to open his own social media accounts. They are registered in the names of assistants or parents. For example, his To your Twitter account mentions the mother as administrator.

On the other hand Kangujam has given interviews to the international media face to face, among other things news agency Reuters last fall.

Kangujam’s speeches are a tough matter, and the nine-year-old doesn’t seem to be afraid of defying decision-makers. For those who update their age, he replies that he is strong, smart, intelligent and brave.

In his home country, Licy, as close relatives call him, has been protesting in front of the parliament building in Delhi for months demanding changes to environmental laws.

He also had the right to refuse the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modin from the Women’s Day Award last year. “Don’t celebrate me if you’re not going to listen to my voice,” he noted on Twitter.

Kangujam has also taken part in farmers ’demonstrations surging in India. They oppose laws passed last fall, which many see as benefiting large corporations at the expense of farmers.

Kangujam dreams of a career as a space scientist. Recently, he kicked an award for an invention that makes air water.

This is how he says in an email about his idea: “Turning air into water is not a new thing, but my idea is a little different from the previous ones. Most water generators on the market use a compressor with copper wire, which in turn causes ozone depleting emissions. Sukifu [Survival Kit for the Future 2] make use of solar energy. “

Kangujam developed the device for a year. Once it is finished and ready for the market, it will cost around ten euros.

“It’s going to be one of humanity’s cheapest, portable, environmentally friendly devices,” he writes.

“Millions of people die every year as a result of the water crisis caused by climate change and natural disasters. My device will help solve the global water crisis. ”

The device makes 1.5 deciliters of water per hour, and the final model utilizes a very light, flexible solar panel that allows the device to be carried even in a school backpack.

Kangujam got the idea to build the device after visiting the polluted Yamuna River last November.

Kangujam is a native of the state of Manipur in North East India, but he moved to Delhi after school in 2016 as early as 2016.

Occasionally, he and his family lived in Bhubaneswar, the capital of Odisha state in eastern India, where cyclones raided their home in 2018 and 2019.

“My experiences have made me an outspoken child about the effects of climate change on decision makers.”

Kangujam even traveled weekly from Bhubaneswar to 1,700 kilometers to Delhi to demonstrate at the Parliament House until his parents could no longer afford it. Therefore, in February 2019, Kangujam stopped going to school in Bhubaneswar for a year to live and demonstrate in Delhi.

“It was a tough time. I missed my school, my friends and my teachers. ”

Today, the whole family lives on the outskirts of Delhi in the city of Noida. Kangujam attends an international school.

Licypriya Kangujam took her little sister Irina Kangujamin on her back at her home in the city of Noida on the outskirts of Delhi last September. Next to them watched their mother Bidyarani Devi Kangujam Ongbi.­

In his e-mail Kangujam lists his demands, which have already been partially fulfilled:

“A new air pollution law has been passed in five states, in addition to which climate change has already become a compulsory school subject in many schools.”

Trees are the most concrete proof of his work.

“I have so far been planting 350 000 trees,” he writes.

“There are over 350 million schoolchildren in India. If everyone plants at least ten trees each year, we will plant 3.5 billion trees a year. India will turn green in 5 to 10 years. ”

Licypriya Kangujam drew at his home in the town of Noida, whose name is an abbreviation of the New Okhla Industrial Development Authority.­


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