U.S. Leaders Urged to Protect Environmental Rights of People in Delhi

Children – who studied at the RMN Foundation free school – participating in a pollution-control campaign in Delhi. Photo and Campaign by Rakesh Raman, founder, RMN Foundation. (file photo)
Children – who studied at the RMN Foundation free school – participating in a pollution-control campaign in Delhi. Photo and Campaign by Rakesh Raman, founder, RMN Foundation. (file photo)

U.S. Leaders Urged to Protect Environmental Rights of People in Delhi

By Rakesh Raman

Since the government in India is highly corrupt and courts do not work honestly, they have ignored citizens’ fundamental rights. Therefore, I have decided to approach international forums to get people’s environmental / human rights protected in Delhi. I sent the following petition to the U.S. leaders on November 9.

To                                                                                                                                                            November 9, 2021

Mr. John Kerry
U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate 

Mr. Antony Blinken
U.S. Secretary of State 

Petition: Protect Environmental / Human Rights of People in New Delhi, India

Dear Mr. Kerry, Mr. Blinken,

I am a journalist and social activist in New Delhi, India. I am sending you this petition with the hope to seek justice for the people of Delhi who have been facing extreme pollution and environmental hazards because of the ill-conceived government policies. 

The government is allowing massive avoidable construction in Delhi’s group housing societies where millions of people live. Now, local criminals supported by corrupt bureaucrats and builders’ mafia are forcing residents to accept expensive construction which is spreading lethal dust pollution, noise pollution, and air pollution across the city, which is already the most polluted national capital in the world.

I have been holding street campaigns and writing letters for the past couple of years to different authorities in India to get this harmful construction stopped, but all my appeals have fallen on deaf ears. 

I have even sent petitions to the Chief Justice at the Supreme Court of India and the Prime Minister of India. Although the authorities have acknowledged the receipt of my petitions, no action has been taken to stop construction in occupied housing societies where men, women, children, and senior citizens are suffering because of lethal pollution and other disturbances.

The harmful government policies as well as the authorities’ reluctance to stop construction-based pollution is a direct attack on people’s fundamental / human right to live in a clean, healthy, pollution-free, and peaceful environment. Since the government in India is highly corrupt and courts do not work honestly, they have ignored citizens’ fundamental rights. 

Therefore, I have decided to approach international forums to get people’s environmental / human rights protected in Delhi. Recently, I sent a similar petition to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UN HRC), as the UN HRC has recognized access to a clean and healthy environment as a fundamental right of citizens along with its initiative to fight against climate change and its catastrophic consequences.

Therefore, I request you to take up this case on an urgent basis and coordinate with the Indian government to get the construction work and pollution immediately stopped in Delhi’s group housing societies. Since the Indian government brazenly violates environmental laws, you are also requested to begin the prosecution of all the law-breaking politicians and delinquent government functionaries who are running this environmentally hazardous criminal enterprise in India.

As environmental crimes fall in the category of international crimes, the U.S. can use its laws to prosecute the Indian government ministers and bureaucrats and impose suitable sanctions on them. 

The details of the case including exhibits, video links, photographs, and my communications with authorities are given in the attached document for your perusal and urgent action. I request you for an immediate response including an interim response.

Rakesh Raman

The petition document is also given below in pdf format.

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