December 9th, 2010
Delhi: SFT Delhi staged a silent march in Delhi University, North Campus a day before the Global Climate Change Summit taking place in Cancun, Mexico is scheduled to close.
“Any talk of climate change we feel is incomplete without talk of Tibet,” said Jyotsna George, President of Students for a free Tibet (SFT)’s Delhi Chapter. “The aim of this march is to raise awareness about the critical role of Tibet in any dialogue concerning Climate Change. “
Banners emphasizing Tibet as the ‘Third Pole’ were displayed on the march besides distributing information fliers containing factual details of the major Asian rivers originating from Tibet, rapidly melting glaciers, China’s merciless construction of dams, mining, deforestation, soil erosion and other forms of environmental degradation.
“We condemn Chinese government’s policy to resettle Tibetan nomads who for centuries live in harmony with the nature,” said Rigzin Spalgon, Vice-President of SFT Delhi’s chapter. “The lifestyle of the nomads is ideal for conservation of the environment. The coercive restriction of movement of nomads is directly affecting the Tibetan grasslands.”
The march commenced from the Arts Faculty at two o’clock in the afternoon. The route covered most of the colleges in North Campus: St. Stephen’s, Hindu, Hansraj, Kirori Mal, Ramjas and Shri Ram College of Commerce. Many Indian supporters, particularly from the North-East of India joined the march. Marchers carried placards reading different slogans: ‘Tibet’s Glaciers are Melting, South Asia is Drying’, ‘Tibet’s Rivers are the Lifeline of Asia’, ‘Stop Mining Tibet’.
En route, many passers-by stopped the student volunteers to enquire about the march.Pedestrians were seen pausing to read the banners and placards. The protesters received encouragement from various people: from rickshaw pullers to busloads of school children to strangers on the road.
The marchers returned to the Swami Vivekananda statue in Arts Faculty where everyone gathered to speak a few words on the issue. SFT India’s Grassroots Coordinator, Shibayan Raha opened the discussion with comments on the aim of the march, climate change in general, with specific emphasis on Tibet. SFT Delhi President Jyotsna George thanked the volunteers for their support and effort, and briefed the gathering on SFT Delhi’s forthcoming events.