Tamil Nadu Teen Vinisha Umashankar Gets A Standing Ovation As She Asks Leaders To Take Action On Climate Change

I think it is safe to say that we as a species are in a lot of danger. With awareness being spread about the serious and major impacts of environmental changes, climate change is a serious and immediate global concern.  We are currently experiencing the impacts of global warming and every report says that this will only go downhill if action isn’t taken immediately. While there is a lot most of us can individually do to help with this, most of the responsibility lies on the world leaders as they can implement eco-friendly business practices. However, that isn’t happening as effectively as it should. Luckily, the youth of today are changemakers and refuse to wait around for someone to save the day. One such person is Tamil Nadu teen Vinisha Umashankar.

Vinisha Umashankar was invited to speak at an event recently at COP26 in Glasgow. As one of the finalists for the prestigious Earthshot prize, she was invited to speak by Prince William about climate change and clean energy.

Vinisha innovated a solar-powered street ironing cart which made the cut for the finalist of the Earthshot prize for its concept of replacing coal with renewable and clean energy from the sun. PM Narendra Modi and UK’s Boris Johnson were present for the speech as well.

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In her speech, Vinisha Umashankar called upon the attention of the people regarding what is happening, “Today I ask, with all due respect, that we stop talking and start doing. We, The Earthshot Prize Winners and Finalists, need you to back our innovations, projects and solutions, not an economy built on fossil fuels, smoke and pollution. We need to stop thinking about old debates because we need a new vision for a new future. So you need to invest your time, money and effort in us to shape our future!”

The driven Tamil Nadu teen also said, “Many of my generation are angry and frustrated at leaders who’ve made empty promises and failed to deliver. And we have every reason to be angry. But I’ve no time for anger. I want to act. I’m not just a girl from India. I’m a girl from Earth and I’m proud to be so. I’m also a student, innovator, environmentalist and entrepreneur but most importantly, I’m an optimist.” Vinisha Umashankar concluded her moving and impactful speech by saying, “On behalf of The Earthshot Prize Winners and Finalists, I invite you to join us. I invite you to stand with us. We hope that you will give up the old ways of thinking and the old habits. But let me be clear we! When we invite you to join us, we will lead even if you don’t. We will act even if you delay. And we’ll build the future, even if you are still stuck in the past. But please accept my invite and I assure you, you will not regret it.” 

It is amazing to see such young children take an interest and initiative towards saving the planet. There is a lot we can learn from Vinisha Umashankar, regardless of her age.

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Priyadarshini Malavia

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