Ridhima Pandey is a 14-year-old climate activist based in India. She started her activism after witnessing the Kedarnath flash flood that occurred in her home state in 2013. In 2017, at the age of 9, she filed a petition against the National Green Tribunal of India, seeking stronger measures from the Indian government to protect the Ganges and the Himalayan Environment.
Building on this, in 2019 Ridhima Pandey filed a lawsuit at the United Nations alongside 15 other child petitioners, including Greta Thunberg. The lawsuit criticized five countries under the U.N.’s Convention on the Rights of the Child for failing to uphold their obligations to the youth. The same year, she led a climate strike under the FridaysForFuture in Dehradun and became a speaker for Xynteo Exchange, as well as speaking at COP25 Conference in Madrid and delivering ted talks. Her activism was recognised as she received the Rising Star Award from Earth Day Network.
Ridhima Pandey’s campaigning continued through the pandemic. On Earth Day 2020 Ridhima launched the “Clean Air for All” campaign after witnessing clean air in some of the world’s most polluted cities, such as Delhi, during the COVID-19 lockdown. She was then recognized in BBC’s Top 100 Most Influential and Empowering Women’s List for 2020 and Forbes My Vision 2020 Magazine. She also received the Young Naturalist Award in 2020 from Sanctuary Asia. Not slowing down, Ridhima Pandey wrote a letter to the Prime Minister of India expressing her concerns on increasing air pollution and urging action from responsible authorities. In 2021 she was granted a Mother Teresa Memorial Award for Social Justice in New Delhi.
Currently, Ridhima continues to accelerate positive reform as a member of COP 26’s Civil Society and Youth Advisory Council and a part of UN women’s 30 for 2030. She is also focused on raising awareness in schools and empowering students to take action for their rights and futures. Ridhima has called for a complete ban on plastics and minces no words when holding higher authorities accountable. She relentlessly and effectively communicates the rationale for science-led, heartfelt nature conservation to vast audiences.
Ridhima Pandey’s story is a remarkable example of the power of youth activism and the indomitable spirit of those committed to fighting climate change. With her unwavering determination, she continues to be a beacon of hope for a more sustainable and environmentally conscious world.
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