New York: Yugratna Srivastav, a 13-year-old girl from Lucknow addressed the United Nations Climate Change Summit in New York on Tuesday. Yugratna’s speech was cheered on by world leaders including UN General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon. The teenager later spoke to CNN-IBN Correspondent Indira Kannan about her experience.
Yugratna Srivastav: It was a very great experience for me because now actually I feel I'm one in a million who gets an opportunity to speak. I also met several heads of state and I was sitting next to Al Gore.
CNN-IBN: How long did you work on the speech? Who prepared it for you?
Yugratna Srivastav: Working on the speech was a tough one. I was working since September 7. It was basically written by me but it also had the opinions of the UN environmental programme and advisory council.
CNN-IBN: You were looking forward to meeting Barack Obama. Did you manage to do that?
Yugratna Srivastav: No he was under very, very high security and he was kept in a separate room so it was impossible for anyone to meet him.
CNN-IBN: That's too bad but of all the other leaders you met who did you find most exciting and why?
Yugratna Srivastav: I think it was the Secretary General because he was very cool and very exciting; as well as Wangari Maathai, she also a very sweet lady and we met the chairman of inter government panel of climate change. RK Pachouri and I also met the head of state of Sweden, Japan… also our honourable Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh and the Prime Minister of Gambia.
CNN-IBN: What did Jairam Ramesh say to you? Did you meet any other Indian leaders?
Yugratna Srivastav: Honourable Environment Minister was proud of me. He asked which part of the country I was from and he said that he is happy that being an Indian I was speaking to the UNGA. He was really happy with me.