How Manitoba high school students are speaking out against nuclear weapons

Students from across Manitoba voiced their concerns about the threat of nuclear weapons at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) Friday.

The annual “Youth Nuclear Peace Day of Action” brought together 90 Manitoba high school students to discuss the threats posed by nuclear weapons and the world powers that control them.

“Students are tasked with researching these groups, preparing a very short modular presentation, and they take their creativity to the heights,” said organizer Avinashpall Singh. “It’s about taking a proactive approach to dealing with an eventual problem that we will all inherit.”

The day included presentations by students from seven different schools about the threat of nuclear weapons, as well as conversations about ethics, and an exhibit detailing the impact of nuclear weapons.

“As a citizen of the world, my life is directly impacted by the threat of nuclear annihilation every single day, as with everyone else in this building today,” said student Uday Bhardwaj. “The threat of nuclear annihilation has never been as prevalent as right now.”

This year’s event was particularly topical with the war in Ukraine being on many students’ minds.

“Youth are thinking about the implications of the war in Ukraine, and one of those is obviously the threat of nuclear weapons,” said Singh.

He added the event is designed to fill in educational gaps, as the students may not have learned about these issues at school.

The event hopes to be a launching pad for nuclear disarmament education and give students a platform to bring their concerns to local and world leaders.

For Bhardwaj, it’s about making his voice heard.

“I don’t have a direct line to Putin,” he said, “however, I want to make sure that my local leaders hear what I have to say.”

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