03 December 2016 Current Affairs: Kehkashan Basu, a 16-year-old UAE-based Indian teenager won the International Children’s Peace Prize for her work towards climate justice and combating environmental degradation.
The award was conferred to her by Bangladesh’s Nobel peace prize winner Mohammad Yunus at a ceremony held in The Hague. The teen in her award-winning speech stressed on the importance of continuing the fight against climate change and focusing on creating a more sustainable future.
Her speech comes not long after the new President-elect of the United States, Donald Trump revealed his decision of withdrawing the U.S from a global agreement on climate change.
Kehkashan Basu : She was born in Dubai to Indian Parents.
At the age of eight years, she planted her first tree and had started educating her neighbours on the importance of saving the environment.She also brought together other children to collect and recycle waste.
She founded Green Hope at the age of twelve. Through the organisation, she launched several awareness campaigns and cleanup activities.
The peace award is a symbol of recognition for her work involving the same organisation.
Green Hope : Founded by Basu , the organisation, which started as a small initiative has grown into a fully-established International organisation.
It has over 1000 volunteers and conducts activities in at least 10 countries across the world. It is run by children, who often consume their pocket money to fund their environmental activities.
Within just four years of its founding, the organisation completed several successful environmental projects, some of which included planting 5,000 trees in Columbia, France, Mexico, Nepal, Oman and the United States.
Aside from planting trees, Green Hope also indulges in other activities such as cleaning up mangrove swamps around UAE, which is very significant, especially since their deforestation rates are almost five times higher than average global forest loss.
The International Children’s Peace Prize is an annual award, which is conferred to those children who fight courageously for children’s rights. The award also includes an investment prize of $106000 for projects in the winner’s home country.
Basu was selected for the award from a total of 120 nominees from 49 countries. Some of the previous winners of the prize include Liberian child rights activist Abraham M Keita, American Neha Gupta for her NGO-Empower Orphans and Pakistani activist/ survivor Malala Yousafzai who is also the youngest recipient of Nobel Peace Prize for her work towards female education.