About 400,000 people participated in one of the largest global calls for climate action at the People's Climate March here yesterday that also saw participation by NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, former US Vice President Al Gore, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, US Senator Chuck Schumer and musician Sting.

 

Speaking to journalists after walking in the rally, Ban said the world needs to "galvanize our action" and harness the people's "power to change."

 

He said the international community should adopt measures to halt the advance of global climate change as there is no "Plan B" for action as there is no "Planet B."

 

The rally, which came just two days before Climate Summit at the UN Headquarters, saw politicians, celebrities, activists and the general public march though the city to highlight global concerns about a lack of international action to stop the deleterious effects of climate change.

 

The summit is expected to draw more than 120 heads of State and Government to galvanize action on climate change. The People's Climate March is part of a worldwide campaign to persuade global leaders to act decisively on the issue.

 

Similar climate events were reported in 2,000 locations around the world.

 

The march is campaigning, among other issues for curbs on harmful carbon emissions which contribute to global warming.

 

At last count, 2,129,060 people around the world had also signed a petition calling for world leaders to take bold action at the UN Climate Summit on September 23. The petition was handed over to the UN chief on the march route.

Chanting slogans and playing music, marchers created a noisy carnival atmosphere as they filed through Manhattan. Many were dressed in costumes associated with indigenous groups while others wore protest T-shirts. People held banners in the shape of a road sign warned "Climate Crisis Ahead".

 

March organizers Avaaz's Executive Director Ricken Patel said it was crucial for people to get out onto the streets as there is a "huge gap between the action our survival requires and the action our governments are willing to take," on climate change.

 

"The street is where we close that gap," he said. "We are rushing headlong into catastrophic tipping points in our climate system," Patel said. "We need action fast to transition to a 100 percent clean energy economy."

 

Besides, a new chapter in the relations between China and Gujarat have raised hopes among businessmen here, Trivedi said. Also, medical education is financially accessible to Gujarati students and that could be the reason behind this influx to China.

 

Asked about difficulties faced by Gujarati students while learning Chinese language, Trivedi said there is no such great difficulty as the sentence patterns of both the languages are similar.

 

An Ahmedabad-based interior designer Bhvik Mankad (45) feels that business is the main purpose for Gujaratis. "We Gujaratis are business-oriented people and therefore visit China for business purposes only. Earlier, the people from Gujarat were less associated with China. However in last few years there are opportunities in various sectors, like plastics and chemicals for Gujaratis in Chinese markets," Mankad said.

 

On his own business of interior-designing, Mankad has said he often goes to China to buy furniture from there as Chinese interiors are much in demand amongst Gujaratis.

 

On why he began learning Chinese, Mankad said, "I visited China often than any other countries where I had to facedifficulties in communication."

 

"Unlike other countries, where English is more or less spoken or at least understandable by people, in China, it is difficult even to communicate, for a glass of water or seeking directions about a rest room. This was the reason for learning the language," Makad said, adding that he does not have to depend upon a interpreter now.

 

Another professional from Gujarat, Dharmesh Bhan (31) had a similar reason for learning Chinese as he deals with exports to China's textile sector.

 

"There was a need to learn Chinese language Mandarin. I am an Export Manager and often visit China for business purpose as our firm exports textile blankets made of rubber to China, which has the biggest textile market in the world," Bhan, who has been learning Mandarin in Ahmedabad's Gujarat Vidyapith, said.

 

Bhan further said it is difficult to learn Chinese as the tone and pronunciation are different, and a minor change in tone can change the entire meaning.

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