Bhubaneswar (Agenzia Fides) - "Pope Francis' encyclical Laudato Sì is a precious source of inspiration for the commitment in defense of mother earth and in the fight against the climate crisis. I regularly draw inspiration from Laudato Si'. The commandment of Jesus to love our neighbor includes not only human beings, but also nature, which is our common home. So we have the responsibility to take care of them for our existence and subsistence": this is what Archana Soreng, a young Indian Catholic and climate activist told Agenzia Fides, who was appointed by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, to his new advisory group that will help tackle the climate crisis. 24-year-old Soreng is part of a group of seven young people between 18 and 28 from different parts of the world. The youth will advise the UN Secretary General on how to accelerate global action to address the escalating climate crisis.
While the universal Church lives, until October 4, the "Season of Creation", the young woman notes: "Our ancestors have protected the forest and nature over the centuries through their traditional knowledge and practices. Now it is up to us to be the protagonists in the fight against the climate crisis and in safeguarding creation".
Soreng belongs to the Khadia tribe and comes from the Sundergarh district in the State of Orissa, in eastern India, and is an active part of the Catholic community in the diocese of Rourkela. The girl attended Catholic schools: she studied at St. John Mary Vianney School and then at the Apostolic Carmel School in Rourkela, she obtained a degree at Patna Women’s College, run by the Carmelite nuns. She was actively involved in the "All India Catholic University Federation" (AICUF) and then specialized at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) in Mumbai.
She is still engaged with various groups of young people at a regional and national level to preserve, document and promote the traditional knowledge and practices of indigenous communities, with the utmost attention to environmental sustainability.
She is a member of the "Youth Constituency" of the United Nations Framework Convention on climate change and, among the various meetings, she participated in the first "Global Youth Caucus on Desertification and Land" to combat desertification and in the UN Youth Summit dedicated to climate which, in 2019, brought together over 1,000 young people from over 140 countries in New York to launch an international appeal to the world's rulers. (SD-PA) (Agenzia Fides, 10/9/2020)