India’s best comic talents rally for United Nations ‘Sustainable Development Goals’ through ‘Comics For Change’

Mumbai: In a never before attempt, Notable Personalities and Entertainers of India are coming together to put up a mega comedy event ‘Comics For Change’, on the Human Rights Day, December 10, 2019 to encourage Indian youth to embrace the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals, and instil a sense of shared responsibility for a better & sustainable future.

‘Comics For Change’ is being curated by Cyrus Broacha and Kunal Vijayakar, and is conceptualised by Business of Ideas and Vineet Mehra – Founder DOT (green mobility solutions provider), UN Speaker & Member of the Global Sustainability Network (GSN). Supporting the initiative are the UN Women, the Global Sustainability Network, the Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation, and SVKM’s NMIMS B-School.

‘Comics For Change’ is a by invite event and will be attended by VVIPs of Mumbai, Bollywood Fraternity, Global Ambassadors, and close to 600 MBA students in a language everyone understand the best – Comedy. Three generations of comics are coming together on one platform to raise awareness about the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The comics will also help start relevant social conversations amongst the youth and ignite the flame of sustainable responsibility that they will carry with them wherever they go.

The aim of this event is to create awareness and sensitise the future generation so that they embrace ‘Sustainability’ as a core of their social, political and business decisions. The language of ‘Humour’ is universal and has been identified as a powerful tool that helps percolate the most complex issue facing our society into a powerful long lasting message impression.

Nishtha Satyam – Deputy Representative UN Women MCO, said “In 1995, the Beijing Platform for Action distinguished violence against women as one of the 12 critical areas for achievement of gender equality and women’s empowerment. In 2013, the 57th session of the Commission on the Status of Women specifically identified various forms of sexual harassment and sexual violence in public spaces as a distinct area of concern, and called on governments to prevent it through various measures and programmes. This call affirmed the currently proposed indicators to monitor implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and targets, specifically under goal 5 – gender equality and 11 – making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.”

Nishtha Satyam further added, “UN Women is committed to making spaces safe for women and young girls, for violence against women and young girls has real consequences and costs. We are proud to collaborate with Comics For Change to conclude this year’s 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence. Comedy as a conversation-starter and a catalyst for change is the present. To mobilise the youth and to engage in conversations about persisting issues, we should come together to discuss in the universal language of humour!”

Nobel Peace Prize that was announced five Years ago, overnight shone the global spotlight on millions of children who are languishing in slavery, exploitation and violence in the so called modern world for whom Nobel Peace Laureate Shri Kailash Satyarthi has been fighting for since 1980. Living up to the strong resolve the Satyarthi Movement, under the aegis of Shri Satyarthi, spearheaded several interventions both at national and international level, which resulted in various achievements in the last five years.

Commenting on the cause, Nobel Peace Laureate Shri Kailash Satyarthi, said “After severe damage to People, Planet and Peace the International Community adopted a holistic and concrete agenda for protection and reparation through the Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs. This generated big hopes and great expectations particularly among the most marginalized people. However, we are yet to see bold, honest, urgent actions as well as necessary funding from the governments across the world so that the Agenda 2030 doesn’t merely remain a wish list or another charter of tall promises. The world is way off the mark to address slavery, child labour, climate emergency, refugee crisis, poverty, unemployment, illiteracy and inequality that continue to stare in the face of humanity. The first casualty of the failed sustainable development agenda will be none other than our children, and they will never forgive us.”

Speaking about the event, Nobel Peace Laureate Shri Kailash Satyarthi, said “I laud the efforts of Comics for Change for taking up this important issue in a language that is best understood by all-‘Humour’ and sincerely hope it will educate and inspire the masses to remind their leaders to keep the promise.”

Speaking about Comics For Change, Kunal Vijayakar, said, “Today the biggest problem we face is climate change amongst other things and what better voice to inform the world about climate change than the youth. The youth is doing this and they are doing it through the best possible way of communication which is through comedy. The best way to do this is through comedy, that’s why we have got a collection of the funniest people in the country who are all coming out and speaking for this cause of climate change. That is what comics for change is all about. The best comic talent of India is coming together to tell us about our sustainability goals and how we can help and stop climate change.”

Cyrus Broacha, in his humorous element, expressed, “Comics for Change is a very good initiative, I am really proud to be associated with it. I have two things that I really support in a big way, one of course is that I am trying to stop people selling vegetable toast on the road without aloo, this is going on behind my back for the last ten to fifteen years and I will find next time these monkeys overdoing that, and I say monkey in a nice way because I love animals that’s third issue about to. But coming back to comics for change, initially I thought it was just trying to reflect on my career where it is right now where I just get chillar or change for the work I do but apparently it is more than that, it is bigger than us, bigger than comedy itself. So it could be more like drama and the whole idea here is sustainability and to save the world because we comics will have no one to talk to if there is no world left, so it’s simple maths. So how do we save the world ? By just following few rules to make sure that we keep everything the way it is or improve in some cases. So save the Earth sustainable issues all over from human beings to animals to greenness of the world and by greenness we mean nature and not the people actually painting green like in Nalasopara. That’s ugly and terrible. So remember two issues here try and find those guys who are selling vegetable toast on the road without aloos, without that we won’t have careers.”

Vineet Mehra – Founder, DOT (green mobility solutions provider), UN Speaker & Member of the Global Sustainability Network (GSN), said, “Today, as the climate emergency threatens our planet and youth demand justice and a future, we race in pursuit of a more sustainable and just world by achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Hope and humour are key to sustain us! Comedy has the power to entertain, educate, open dialogue and unite us in the universal language and shared human experience of laughter. Comedic relief can help shine a light through challenging times. Our hope is that comedians will catalyse all of us to urgent action and pressure those in power- and instil a sense of shared responsibility for our future.”

Dr. Jayant P. Gandhi of SVKM’s NMIMS, said, “Sustainability promotes social development, seeking cohesion between communities and cultures to achieve satisfactory levels in quality of life, health and education. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations, which form the entire premise of this much-awaited event, are only too relevant in a world as fast and dynamic as ours. The event aims to spread the word of these goals amongst the very crop of our world’s future. Myself and the Josh India Foundation is a proud supporter of these Development Goals, as our whole operation is for the welfare and good health of the less fortunate, and it will only give me immense pleasure to see younger adults get stuck into achieving these goals, while also exponentially increasing the word about these goals and their importance to our world. Mukesh Patel School of Technology Management and Engineering, NMIMS has constantly engaged with the youth to leave a lasting impact on the society and I am extremely proud of their recent initiative and wish them all the luck for the same.”

The current climate change scenario is likely to displace between 24 million and 700 million people by 2030 due to water scarcity alone. The fact that Globally only 9% of plastic ever produced has been recycled, whilst 79% can now be found in landfills, dumps or the environment and 12% has been incinerated taking up acres of habitable space. The need of the hour is ‘Sustainability’ and it is high time to act upon it. From individuals to global corporations, all will have to do their bit to make this planet a habitable place for future generations to come.