Hyderabad: More than 500 students and youth gathered in Hyderabad on Friday to present their demands to the world leaders to act on climate change. The strike was inspired by 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, who, on August 2018, organised a school strike against climate change in front of the Swedish Parliament.

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Millions of people from Sydney to Hyderabad and Melbourne to London and New York marched for urgent action on climate change. More than 3,500 events in more than 120 countries were organised on Friday. Students and environmental activists from cities such as Pune, Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Bihar, etc. participated in the strike.

The energy was contagious as the youngsters enacted the plight of Mother Earth through poems, skits, songs, and dance.  Demands for climate justice not just for themselves, but also for the vulnerable sections reverberated through the atmosphere.

The action-packed event had one clear message of the need to act now echoed throughout the strike. The students reinstated that the strike was not against anyone as one won or lost. The students demanded action before it’s too late. The students wanted a “climate emergency declaration” to be passed right away.

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22-year-old student A Vinod said, “The situation we are facing today is a unique one. We are the last generation to have a realistic chance to prevent a climate catastrophe. According to the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), we have less than 12 years to deliver changes required to avoid this. Thus, urgent and immediate action is required. The time to save our planet and climate is now!” 20-year-old student Lohitha Kanteti agrees and adds that we must ensure the planet stays habitable for longer.

 “When adults don’t act responsibly, we as an international youth movement perceive it as our duty to be the voice of reason. Now is the time to act to save our generation’s future, we have to believe in ourselves and this growing movement,” said 19-year-old T Vineela.

Some claim that politicians have to wake up and address the issue. 21-year-old Bruvee Manek said, “The future of our planet is looking very bleak, and all politicians are asleep. We have to wake them up, and I think thousands of kids on the streets will do just that.”

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