Saturday, April 13, 2024

14-year-old Indian girl stuns world leaders with rousing speech

A teenager girl from India, just 14, made a stunning speech in front of the world leaders at the COP-26 in Glasgow on Tuesday. 

Vinisha Umashankar, one of the finalists of the Earthshot Prize, dubbed the “Eco Oscars” was invited by Prince William to speak at the meeting which is conferring on clean technology and innovation at the climate meet. 

“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!,” said Vinisha who belongs to Tamil Nadu. 

Listening to her were Prime Minister Narendra Modi, UK’s Boris Johnson and US president Joe Biden. 

“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,” she said.

Vinisha Umashankar’s solar-powered street ironing cart made the Earthshot Prize finalist cut for its concept of replacing dirty charcoal with clean energy from the sun.

The young Indian underlined that when it comes to climate change, there’s no “STOP button”.

“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,” she told the world.

Prince William’s Earthshot Prize is designed as a global search for the most inspiring and innovative solutions to the greatest environmental challenges facing the planet.

It covers five areas: how to protect and restore nature; clean our air; revive our oceans; build a waste-free world; and fix our climate.

Launched in October last year, it is inspired by US president John F Kennedy’s “Moonshot” project in the 1960s to put a man on the moon.

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