12 y/o Ridhima Pandey from Uttarakhand makes it to BBC’s top 100 women for 2020


Twelve-year-old Ridhima Pandey from Haridwar of Uttarakhand has made it to the list of ‘100 inspiring and influential women from around the world for 2020’.

The BBC, which released the list on November 24, described Ridhima as “a climate activist who, at the age of nine files a petition against the government of India in response to its inaction to mitigate climate change.”

As many as 14 children from around the globe, along with Ridhima and Greta Thunberg, had petitioned the United Nations on environmental issues damaging the earth.

“I am humbled and honoured. The world leaders should come together collectively to ensure environmental security for the next generations to come. We, as global citizens, should ask our governments and compel them to make changes to conserve and protect the environment,” The New Indian Express quoted Ridhima as saying.

Ridhima Pandey has been involved actively in the ‘Save Thano Forest’ movement — aimed at opposing the Uttarakhand government’s move to fell over 10,000 trees in order to expand Dehradun airport.

Others in the BBC list

Others in the BBC list include Sarah Gilbert, who heads the Oxford University research into a coronavirus vaccine, Jane Fonda, a climate activist and actress, Sanna Marin, who leads Finland’s all-female coalition government, and Michelle Yeoh, star of the new Avatar and Marvel films. 

From females from India made it to the list, Ridhima being the youngest. The other names include 82-year-old Bilkis Bano for leading a peaceful protest against CAA, Indian para-athlete and current para-badminton world champion Manasi Joshi and Isaivani for making her name in the field of Tamil Nadu’s Gaana singing, considered male-doinated.

“With the US coming in the accord it is going to make a huge difference. I want to see more world leaders act on climate issues across the globe,” said Ridhima, who has been campaigning online to make the youth aware of environmental issues plaguing the world.

After the devastation and loss of lives in Uttarakhand in 2013, Ridhima filed a petition in the National Green Tribunal, requesting the Centre to have a ‘Carbon Budget’ to cut down on carbon emissions which lead to global warming. 

Ridhima was quoted as saying in 2017 to a foreign publication that “the government of India has failed in controlling the carbon emissions which is why she had to move to the tribunal.”


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