Moksha Roy is an Indian-origin British student who has the distinction of being the world’s youngest sustainability advocate. She hit the headlines in 2023 after being awarded the Points of Light award by British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, acknowledging her extraordinary dedication to sustainability.
We all can do little things to make a big difference for everyone around us.” – Moksha Roy
Moksha Roy was born on Wednesday, 14 October 2015 (age 7 years; as of 2022). Her zodiac sign is Libra. Moksha hails from Bushey, Hertfordshire.
Her parents, Dr. Sourav Roy and Dr. Ragini G. Roy, are scientists, authors, and philanthropists. They founded the ‘Centre for Big Synergy’ (CBS), a Civil Society Organisation of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, in 2018; the organization aims to inform, inspire, and involve global stakeholders to achieve all 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. Centre for Big Synergy
Microplastic Free 2023
Moksha Roy started working on the ‘Microplastic Free 2030’ campaign when she was 3 years old. The campaign, backed by the Centre for Big Synergy (CBS), aims to educate over a billion children, along with their families, about the issues of microplastic pollution and motivate them to take action against it. Moksha contributed to CBS’s educational outreach, particularly for underprivileged school children in India. She also created an awareness video about microplastic pollution, which CBS used in their educational sessions.
As part of the campaign, Moksha penned a letter to Santa Claus for the ‘Plastic Free Christmas 2021’ competition, asking for plastic-free gifts and encouraging her peers in the UK to do the same.
After learning about the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs) from her parents, Moksha Roy was struck by the fact that many of her family members and friends were oblivious to these goals and their significance. In a conversation with her parents about how children worldwide could be educated about these global objectives, they suggested that world leaders could mandate teachers to include these goals in their curricula across the globe.
Letters to World Leaders
In 2021, Moksha took the initiative to write a letter to the British Prime Minister, requesting him to encourage teachers in the United Kingdom to educate children about the UNSDGs. Following this, she wrote over 193 letters to all the world leaders. She received responses from leaders, governments, and representatives of 22 countries including the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, Croatia, Namibia, Malta, Trinidad and Tobago, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Portugal, and Norway.
Notably, the UK Secretary of State for Education, Nadhim Zahawi, acknowledged her request and even considered it for the upcoming Sustainability and Climate Change Strategy for Education and Children’s Services; indeed, in April 2022, the Global Goals were formally integrated into this strategy. Nadhim Zahawi wrote,
We shared a first version of our strategy in November 2021. We will think about your helpful idea as we continue to work on the final version which will be ready in April this year (2022).”
Several other world leaders, including the Mayor of London, also assured Moksha that they would take her request into account during revisions to the national curriculum.
Environment and Children
Moksha’s dedication extends to animal welfare and child-focused initiatives as well. She actively raises funds for the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), contributing to the preservation of snow leopards, penguins, polar bears, and their habitats. Moksha, moreover, decided to forego her own birthday gifts. Instead, she asked her friends and family to donate to the United Kingdom Committee for UNICEF in honour of her special day. As a result, she was able to raise around £350 for UNICEF UK in 2022.
Awards & Honours
- 20 October 2022: British Citizen Youth Award (BCyA)
- 20 July 2023: Points of Light award from British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak
- In an interview about Moksha’s early inclinations towards environmental conservation, her mother, Dr. Ragini G. Roy, shared an inspiring incident. When Moksha was only three, she expressed a desire to buy glitter for her nursery activities; however, being environmentalists, Ragini and her husband, Sourav, informed Moksha that glitter, being a form of microplastic, could harm the planet. To their surprise, Moksha’s response was that she wanted to save the environment, which marked the beginning of her environmental activism. Moksha said,
I want to save the mermaids and the fishes and the octopuses!”
- As Moksha grew older, her commitment to environmental preservation deepened. She made conscious decisions to minimize her consumption, particularly of clothing and toys containing plastic. Additionally, she began recycling and donating items as a means to fundraise for less fortunate children and motivating her friends to do the same. Moreover, she tries to help animals and insects in a small way by making a bug hotel and a hedgehog hotel, providing sugar water for bees during summer, in her garden and planting wildflowers to help bees and other insects find food.
- Moksha Roy runs a self-titled YouTube channel which she utilizes as a platform to raise environmental awareness and encourage others to do their part in preserving the planet. She often leverages the power of storytelling through her videos to communicate and promote her environmental consciousness.
- Moksha often uses her creativity to advocate for the environment; she conveys her message through her writings, drawings, and various art forms.