Saila Sobnom Richi, a student of class eleven of Holycross College, Dhaka, is an active climate activist working with the Youthnet for Climate Justice Barisal team. She started working on the climate crisis in 2019 by working with ‘Aranyak’. She is also involved in the youth’s Fridays for the Future movement. Currently being trained in the YouthNet for Climate Justice Network, Richi is actively conducting various campaigns and field activities for ensuring climate justice.
For Richi, the climate crisis is the cry of the people who have lost to the cruelty of nature in the war of life. She says, “ If I had been trapped in this city surrounded by bricks and stones, I would never have known about the climate crisis, how it is consuming the people of Bangladesh, and how it is destroying hundreds of lives. Even though I am in the Sadar area of Barisal division, when I went to work on climate justice, I saw the cruel irony of the fate of the people of Barisal. People living in the coastal or marginal areas here are moving towards an uncertain future. They do not have a place to live, they do not have employment. Some have lost their homes and some have lost loved ones in blood and flesh. Some have become destitute and have migrated to unknown places.”
Richi is a girl who grew up in Barisal city. She has always wanted to do volunteer work since childhood. And now she is working with many organizations.
From a very early age, Richi has a sense of responsibility and love for the environment and the world. But she didn’t know much about this range then. Though there are many organizations working on climate change in Barisal and Bangladesh, one of the most notable organizations is Youthnet for Climate Justice. Richi had known this organization and its people since 2016 but she did not know much about the type of work. However, she did not make the mistake of refraining from doing anything for the world and her country after getting a clear idea about the work of Youthnet in 2019 due to the involvement of Aranyak, an organization working on the environment while studying in 10th class.
According to this young climate activist, her inspirations to work in this field has been fascinated and inspired by a young climate activist Sohanur Rahman, his knowledge, intellect and love for this country.
Richi directly participated in the climate action movement several times on behalf of the Youthnet Barisal team as a climate activist. Notably, on September 25, 2020, a documentary about climate justice was published on YouthNet, which responded to the global community in a very short time and that became another new inspiration for her.
Since climate justice is really about gender justice, Richi naturally fell for another goal. She started working more or less with Gender Justice. Then came a golden opportunity for her when Sohanur Rahman of Youthnet became one of the winners of the COP26 Youth Engagement Challenge Fund by the British Council. He gave Richi and her peer climate activists the responsibility of the fieldwork after providing week-long capacity building training. And they too have successfully completed the work from the beginning to the end and tried to give possible solutions to all the problems caused by climate change in Barisal which became an instance of youth power in combating the climate crisis in Bangladesh and the whole globe. Our country’s wise and talented researchers and concerned ministers praised Richi and her fellow climate warriors for their job. In this way, Richi is on her knees as a climate warrior.
Climate Activist Richi says, “As a climate warrior, one of my demands to ordinary people is that as conscientious citizens, we should always have a sense of responsibility to take care of our environment, country and the world, for which necessarily we do not have to just be a climate activist. Even if we can’t fulfill our responsibilities as much as this world nurtures us, we should try our level best to do something for nature at least to mentally absolve ourselves.
Richi believes that the involvement of young people is desirable for climate justice like any other work in the world. Only then maybe we can make the world of the future a little more beautiful and give clean air to the next generation. Richi also believes with heart and soul that as a climate warrior, her life struggle may be more difficult than many but at the end of the day, she is proud to call herself a warrior who is fighting for a better, safer and greener world. Thus, she dreams that she can establish a sustainable and peaceful world for all that would be free from all sorts of discrimination and injustice.