Message of International Peace from a young girl “Kehkashan”
The consciousness and awareness of young people is always a lesson to learn. The message of a young person can convey has far more impact, as in the case of 16 year young girl Kehkashan Basu, who recently took noticed of the whole world when she won this year’s prestigious International Children’s Peace Prize for her fight for climate justice and combating environmental degradation.
Nobel peace laureate Mohammad Yunus presented the award to the Indian environmental activist based in the UAE at a ceremony in Hague,organised by Kids Rights Foundation that has instituted the award.At the ceremony Mohammad Yunus, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 for his efforts for economic and social development has underlined the urgency and importance of Kehkashan’s work, as more than 30 lakhs children under the age of five die every year from environment-related diseases and many more suffer deeply from environmental issues.
Mohammad Yunus in his speech said,”It is a great achievement for such a young person to already have such reach and impact with her important message, a healthy environment is essential for the survival, wellbeing and development of children, and therefore it is a precondition for the realization of the rights of the child. Kehkashan teaches us that we all have a responsibility to work towards a sustainable future“.
After receiving the prize, Kehkashan Basu said she would keep campaigning to encourage children and adults to create a more sustainable future. She said,“I call upon everyone to think of how they can contribute to the preservation of the environment. Time is not on our side we have to act now, or we will have polar bears under palm trees“.
It is very encouraging to know that Kehkashan started to think about environment and betterment of the people of the world and beauty of the universe only when she was just eight years of age. At this early age she started educating neighbours about the importance of environment and how to save our environment. She planted her first tree and brought together children of her age and others to collect and recycle waste.
She didn’t stopped there, at the age of twelve Kehkashan founded her organisation Green Hope, through which she has initiated countless cleanup operations and awareness campaigns.Kehkashan then became the youngest ever Global Coordinator for the Major Group for Children and Youth of the United Nations Environmental Programme.
Green Hope has become an international organisation with activities in more than ten countries and over a thousand young volunteers.Kehkashan Basu was nominated for the Children’s Peace Prize by her father and was selected for the award from among 120 nominees from 49 countries.
The International Children’s Peace Prize is an initiative of Marc Dullaert, Chairman and Founder of the Dutch Kids Rights Foundation and is awarded annually to a child anywhere in the world for his or her dedication and contribution to the children’s rights.The winner receives the statuette ‘Nkosi’, which shows how a child sets the world in motion.
The award shows the way, how young people also can contribute and show lights to generation to come. Kehkashan is an inspiration for many more young people to come and initiate such issue based movements, which can bring change in the mind of people, society, country and the world to make this world a beautiful place to live in.
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