Organising Climate Strikes
Climate strikes have been one of our key strategies to mobilise young people, help them find like-minded peers and new opportunities to engage. We usually organise (offline) strikes in around 20 cities across India to demand climate action from our elected representatives.
We often organise many workshops (Hindi+Eng) teaching young people from rural and urban areas key skills in climate communications, advocacy, team-building, social media campaigning, building leadership, and organizing their communities.
Our group started with campus organizing in colleges, where we engaged different cultural (music, drama, art) societies to use their art to bring people’s attention to the climate crisis. We have also engaged at college festivals to advance the conversation around climate justice and make it more appealing to the youth.
Campaigning during COVID
over dilution of Environmental Laws
To break down the technicalities of law, our team has curated a webinar on proposed amendments and started conducting sessions with college clubs and societies.
These sessions have helped students to learn about proposed amendments and its implications, and helped them understand and send their objections to the environment ministry.
We’ve started conducting outreach and protests in 7 cities throughout India which helped us take conversations about proposed amendments to people who don’t have much access to online mediums.
Another interesting strategy we have used is to bombard the comments sections of celebrities on Instagram, urging them and their followers to support the movement.
This comment bombing even led to popular actors, musicians and directors , including Konkona Sensharma, Bhumi Pednekar, Zoya Akhtar, Milind Soman, Dia Mirza, Vijay Varma, and Dolly Singh taking up the issue.
Campaigning during COVID
over Green Recovery and Public Health
At Youth For Climate India, we felt the impact of the second wave of COVID-19 as much as any other institution in the country. Our team members fell sick, many losing their loved ones and struggling to secure basic medical supplies during that time. As we found ourselves amidst such a helpless and dreadful situation our team had to make a decision on what a youth group like ours should be doing during this time. We collectively decided that our responsibility as part of civil society is to highlight the structural issues which were exposed due to the second wave of the pandemic. Our team has spent six months and worked on -
Magazine titled COVISPIRACY
The magazine also explored the inaccessibility and inequality of India’s vaccination drive, the country’s medical infrastructure, the digital divide and deepened inequalities brought by the pandemic, and the experience of frontline workers.
We wanted more people to know about the linkages between a pandemic, a healthcare crisis, and climate change. We held a series of seminars and discussions on vaccine policy, health workers' rights, and public healthcare infrastructure.
Amplifying Asha Workers Mobilisation
We were also involved in aiding and amplifying ASHA workers' mobilization demands during this time, who were severely overworked and underpaid. We raised questions regarding the dignity of labor, especially women’s labor during such distressing times.
Clean Air Campaign
in Moradabad, Faridabad and Lucknow
According to the World Air Quality Report of 2019 compiled by IQAir Air Visual, 21 Indian cities feature among the world's 30 most polluted cities- and since then these cities have been featured in the list of cities with the worst AQI year after year. However, the media and civil society often remain focused on the impact of air pollution in Delhi, the national capital.
We have a strong community of 8000+ young people spread across India, and while interacting with them we realized the extent to which the issues of the other cities are sidelined. Therefore, we decided to launch a long-term campaign called ‘Clean Air Cohort’ to build people's power in Faridabad, Moradabad, and Lucknow. We launched a campaign in these places because of their marginalization in the policy and social movement discourse related to air pollution. These cities also have a concentration of industries in or near them which means there is a large population of working-class laborers who are affected severely due to the air pollution caused by these industries.
On September 7, we launched our campaign with a campaign video that articulates .
Charcha For Clean Air
We are currently in the phase of organizing ‘Charchas For Clean Air’ or open meetings in these cities to understand broadly what issues people are facing and want to take action on. These meetings are also helping us meet grassroots collectives, organizations, and people who want to actively advocate for healthier cities. We are forming cohorts of people who would in the near future undergo training to be able to take up their local issues and successfully advocate for the reduction of air pollution.
We would be producing reports of these three cities which would include a perception survey that seeks to capture citizens’ concerns regarding air pollution in their city, local sources of air pollution, and the socio-economic and health impacts. Along with this, the reports would provide a policy landscape analysis of the current governmental initiatives in the sectors of transport, waste management, and current efforts to curb air pollution levels. We would then release these reports in town halls where local administration and local citizens would be present to discuss common issues.
Photo and Video Stories
We are also producing photo and video stories from these cities which capture the disproportionate impact of air pollution on various socio-economic groups. We would be putting up photo exhibitions across these cities to engage the public.
Climate Justice Library
On 15th March 2022, we opened a climate justice library at South Ex, New Delhi with an aim to make climate literacy available to our community members and the general public. In the past, we organized reading circles to engage people from various fields in discussions related to the environment. We eventually decided to open a community library to make climate justice-related literature more accessible. We believe improving people’s access to such resources greatly improves their involvement in and understanding of environmental issues. The library currently has around 500+ books on topics such as air pollution, water pollution, politics of environmental conservation, ecology, energy, and many others.
National & International Negotiations
COP 26 at Glasgow
One of our team members, Srijani Datta attended the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference which took place in Scotland. During and before COP we share information specifically on the youth’s demands, and India’s stand on key environmental negotiations, and helped make COP-related information accessible and understandable for the youth. The outcomes of the Glasgow Climate Pact and views on key issues relevant to India were shared by us after the conference with our community members on social media and in a community meet-up.
LCOY at Gujarat
Our team member, Srijani Datta was invited to take a session on Adaptation and Loss and Damage to help build the knowledge and capacity of youth participants at LCOY. During the 3-day conference, the participants drafted policy recommendations in the sectors of climate finance, agriculture, water, education, governance, and entrepreneurship for the Indian government.
Govt of Delhi
Our team frequently engages with the Delhi government on key environmental issues such as access to and preservation of green patches, making the city more cyclable, demanding the introduction of more buses on new routes, and discussing heat action plans in place to prevent heat-related deaths. We lobby and directly engage with advisors and bureaucrats under the Environment Ministry of the Delhi government.
Young Changemakers Bootcamp
We organized our flagship training Bootcamp (6-days) in Rishikesh, Uttarakhand for young people who want to harness the collective power of their community to advocate for positive social change- this Bootcamp brought people from across India to explore & practice the concept of social power and how it can drive truly transformational change. They have learned practical skills in group-centered leadership, telling their and their community's stories, developing campaigns, and using digital tools in campaigning.