Home Equality & Justice India’s “Greta” seeks Pope’s help to bring peace in Manipur

India’s “Greta” seeks Pope’s help to bring peace in Manipur

A young Indian climate activist has urged Pope Francis to help bring peace to Manipur, her troubled state in northeastern India.

Licypriya Kangujam on June 5 met the Pope and briefed him about the ongoing ethnic violence in Manipur.

The 11-year-old girl also submitted a memorandum to urge the rich nations to pay for the loss and damage caused by the climate crisis to the global south.

An ethnic clash erupted May 3 in Manipur between the majority Meitei people, who live in the Imphal Valley, and the tribal community from the surrounding hills, including the Kuki and Zo peoples. More than 70 people were killed and hundreds wounded in the violence that remains unabated. Hundreds of churches belonging to all Christian denominations were torched or damaged in the violence.

Licypriya was among 5 young people selected from all around the world to meet the Pope in his residence at the Vatican. The Pope assured her of every possible effort to bring peace in Manipur.

The young activist was in Rome for a five-day official visit. On June 5, she addressed the Green and Blue Festival organized by the biggest media group in Italy as a part of celebrating World Environment Day 2023 at the World’s famous The Colosseum, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Pope encouraged them in their commitment to protect the environment. He also drew attention to the ever-more violent natural disasters devastating the globe, as he urged the International Community to help safeguard the earth, which he calls “our Common Home.”

- Newsletter -

Pope Francis says humans have a responsibility before God to protect the earth, under constant attack from the devastating effects of climate change, which requires a concrete response by all.

“Experts clearly point out how the choices and actions put in place this decade will have an impact for thousands of years. Our knowledge about the impact of our actions on our Common Home and those who inhabit it, and will inhabit it, has expanded,” he added.

In the letter to the Pope, Licypriya urged the world to make “Climate Education” mandatory in the school education curriculum of all Catholic and Christian schools across the world to fight climate change from the grassroots. “There will be no climate solution without climate education,” she asserts.

“Rich countries must pay loss and damage to the poor developing nations. Today’s climate crisis is caused by the rich nations and we’re just the victims of it”, she appeals to the Pope.

She said both the Kukis and the Meitei people have suffered a lot. More than 80,000 people from both communities have lost their homes. “Children desperately hope for peace. We should live in peace and harmony together,” she said.

Licypriya presented the pope with the Manipuri traditional “Lengyan Phi,” a traditional handwoven scarf from the state.

Later, Licypriya addressed the People of Italy at the Green and Blue Festival in Rome “Instead of spending billions of dollars in wars, if we spent it on ending poverty, giving education, and fighting climate change, what a great place our earth would be! Just we need to change our behaviors to save our Planet.”

She told the Italian media that, “My visit to Rome will strengthen my climate movement. It gives me new strength and hope for our planet. I’m not just representing here, my voice is for all the children of the world, indigenous people, and the voice of the poor countries affected by the global climate crisis. I want our leaders to fulfill their promises”.

“I will build a free residential school for the victim children of both Kukis and Meities at Khongjom, Thoubal in the ongoing Manipur violence with the help of global support. Our aim is to provide free boarding, free food, free dress, and free books from Grades 1 to 12. This institution will be a symbol of Peace to the whole World. It will soon be realized,” she added.

She will travel to Paris, France, June 19-24 to attend a meeting convened by the French President Emmanuel Macron. She will then head to Kigali, Rwanda, in July to meet African leaders, Nobel Laureates and top United Nations officials to help in restoring peace in Manipur.

Licypriya, who belongs to the Meitei community, has been campaigning for climate action in India since 2018. She was born on October 2, 2011. She was inspired by the climate activist Greta Thunberg, a Swedish environmental activist who has challenged world leaders to take immediate action for climate change mitigation.

Starting from June 21, 2019, Licypriya spent a week outside the Indian Parliament House to press Prime Minister Narendra Modi to pass a climate change law in India.

On August 31, 2019, she received the “World Children Peace Prize 2019,” given by Charles Allen, director of Partnerships of Global Peace Index – Institute of Economics and Peace (IEP), Australia. She was also honored with the title “Rising Star” by the Earth Day Network, Washington, D.C., USA.

© Copyright LiCAS.news. All rights reserved. Republication of this article without express permission from LiCAS.news is strictly prohibited. For republication rights, please contact us at: [email protected]

Support Our Mission

We work tirelessly each day to tell the stories of those living on the fringe of society in Asia and how the Church in all its forms - be it lay, religious or priests - carries out its mission to support those in need, the neglected and the voiceless.
We need your help to continue our work each day. Make a difference and donate today.