from team dirs
The Paris Climate Summit (Nov. 30-Dec.12) was consequential with regards to climate justice worldwide. Leaders of 195 countries met in Paris to take far-reaching decisions in favour of climate action. To urge their leaders to take action at this key summit, people all over the world took to the streets and marched to show their support.
Mumbai participated in this revolution in a unique way. Rayyan and Ishita from Fatsmeagol.org devised a way in which Mumbaikars could make a difference even from their homes – they initiated the world’s first Online Morcha. A compilation of humorous performances and true stories of the effects of climate change were screened live on the Digital Climate March YouTube page at 6pm on Sunday, Nov. 29, and viewers were encouraged to send tweets to the PM and the Environment Minister of India, impelling them to take action.
St. Xavier’s College, Fort, was one of the few centres where the video was to be screened live for a large audience. Led by Fr. Prashant Olalekar, S.J., Xavierites organised the screening for an audience of 80, replete with dances and songs performed by the students. A street play with a satirical commentary on the effects of climate pollution was one of the highlights of the event. Participants of the digital march at the Xavier’s pocket went one step farther and united their hopes and voices as they sang “Sing for the Climate” with the spirited compere, Anoushka Dutta.
The input by alumnus Rashida Atthar, an environmental researcher and activist, focused on the impact of Climate Change on Mumbai. The AICUF choir presented ‘Be The Change’ a moving song composed by Rachel D’Souza. Rev Matt Cobb from Kansas, a frequent visitor to Xaviers, while sharing his indigenous wisdom through a recorded interview pleaded that we beg for pardon from the land, air, water and fire for the abuse of these natural resources. Fr. Prashant in his presentation on the National Jesuit Tribal Festival at Ranchi spoke about the exposure to a coal mine which was a living hell. The brief meditation stirred up pangs of conscience as the energy in places like Xavier’s is being consumed at the cost of the lives of poor tribals and the rape of Mother Earth. Students of the FYBA staged a lively street play on Waste Management. Labdhi Vora and Anushka Hirvani presented a fusion (bharatnatyam and kathak) dance on climate change and finally Janhvi Pandya (Indian Music Group) accompanied by Kiran D’Silva enthralled the crowd with the popular “Heal the World”.
Along with more than 6 lakh Digital Marchers from Mumbai, Xavierites have done their bit in convincing leaders of India at the COP21 Paris talks to take concrete steps towards climate justice.
Did you participate in the Online Morcha? Tell us about your experience!
What do you think about the Digital Climate March? Let us know in the comments section below.