Youth for Our Planet | News

“Respect Existence or Expect Resistance”

Rameez Sidhik is an Indian environmentalist and a young climate activist who represents the global movement called Fridays for Future. He lives in Germany and is currently studying in University of Stuttgart.

Why did you become a Climate Activist?
Well, I didn’t plan to become one. It wasn’t my first choice to cut classes on Fridays and strike for a better future. It wasn’t my first choice to worry about the climate crisis and spend my Youth/University life being engaged in activism. I became a climate activist because that’s what I was supposed to do in this end game.

Do you think skipping classes is the way for a better future?
Skipping school and the university was the primary reason why we got attention in the first place. And that is why I don’t regret it. But we can’t keep skipping classes. We shouldn’t be on the streets fighting for our future. But if the people in power are not ready to hear us, we are not ready to give it up either.

Have you faced any opposition from your friends or your family?
My biggest supporter is my Dad. Ironically he owned two Plywood Industries in the past. All the money which was spent on me to reach this far was through polluting the environment. But I am really happy for him that he sold that business firm now and is ready to move on.
And Yes, there will be always someone who makes fun of you, no matter whatever you do. I remember people calling us “verrückte Kinder”, which means Crazy Kids in German for standing up for our planet. According to the baby boomers, my generation is the most wicked/spoiled generation of all time. “They are too much into technology”, they say. But I am really happy to say that, almost all the things we have organized so far were with the help of social media. As my fellow activist, Luisa Neubauer, said in her Ted Talk, we all were amateurs in organizing a strike in the beginning, but we were determined and were able to pull off a strike just with the help of Whatsapp in December 2018.

How do situations regarding climate change like in your native country?
I was born and brought up in the Indian state called Kerala, the state which has a rich natural heritage and is also known as God’s own country. Back in 2018, this beautiful state in India faced the worst flood of the decade, which killed over 480 people and has directly affected one-sixth of the population of Kerala. Over 36,000 people were displaced. The flood returned this year, which opens up the chances that it is going to continue happening in the coming years as well. And northern states in India have seen some serious droughts and farmers had to leave their villages in order to escape these killing heat waves. The air quality in most cities have become non-breathable.

Do you have any particular aim?
We all know that airlines’ carbon emissions is getting worse day by day. And the number of people who choose air travel over other means of transportation in the coming years will only be increased. So making Aviations industry more environmental friendly is my aim right now. I am studying Mechanical Engineering as my first subject. And in addition to that, I take couple of lectures in Aerospace Engineering and Environmental studies too.

I will leave my contact details below if you would like to ask any question or to get in touch.
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