Dehradoon: On the 100th day of protests in the sinking town of Joshimath in Uttarakhand, a group of young environmentalists from the Western Himalayan region visited the area to show their support for the local residents who have been displaced by the subsidence. The group, known as Youth For Himalaya (YFH), condemned the authorities for their high-handedness and apathy towards the situation.

During their visit, the YFH called for solidarity among youth across India to stand together for justice in Joshimath. About 120 people from various Himalayan states, including Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, and Sikkim, have joined the cause.

“We have created this platform by taking inspiration from the ongoing struggle of the people in Joshimath,” said Anmol Ohri, a volunteer from YFH. “We believe that the issue and fight of the entire Himalayas from East to West is one and must be fought simultaneously.”

The town of Joshimath has been making headlines since the end of December 2022, when images of fissures started appearing in the area. Although compensation and rehabilitation have been discussed, locals have yet to receive an empathetic hearing from the state. Instead, they have been accused of being anti-development and fake news spreaders.

“The government has done everything to normalize and naturalize this disaster, which is actually a blatant lie,” said Atul Sati, the convenor of Joshimath Bachao Sangharsh Samiti, a local protest group.

The YFH also highlighted the dangerous situation facing thousands of people in the region, from shopkeepers and farmers to students and religious groups. They pointed to big projects like dams, hydroelectric projects, roads, tunnels, flyovers, and airports as directly responsible for the delicate ecosystem of the Himalayas.

The sinking of Joshimath is not an isolated event, but rather an everyday issue endangering the lives of mountain people across the Himalayan region. The YFH plans to run a campaign throughout the region with demands to address the issue.