February 12, 2024 (IANSlife) The second day of the ongoing Apeejay Kolkata Literature Festival witnessed two diverse sessions on the climate changes taking place across the globe.
In the first session, titled ‘Climate Fiction Moves’, authors Rajat Chaudhuri and Gargi Rawat, actress Dia Mirza, and climate activist Bittu Sahgal conversed with moderator Neela Majumdar on how books, films, and the arts help champion climate issues.
The panel focused on climate activism, advocacy, and proactiveness being the way forward to protect our biodiversity.
Raising awareness and understanding about the climate is crucial in our efforts to protect the environment. Climate literacy and education play a vital role in fostering engagement at all levels.
Speaking on the importance of climate awareness and literature, Rajat Chaudhuri, a climate fiction writer, discussed how climate fiction or cli-fi could be a potent way to reach a wider audience.
Rajat opined that climate fiction uniquely connects people to the upcoming realities of climate change and elevates it from simply being a piece of fiction.
“There are two types of cli-fi. One talks about mitigating the challenges of climate change and the other about adapting to the aftereffects of climate change. Both of these send an essential message about the changing nature.”
Actor, Dia Mirza, who attended from Mumbai spoke about the climate campaigns she has been associated with, including her first ‘Save the Tiger campaign’ with NDTV.
While quoting her mentor, Bittu Sahgal, who was also a part of the speaker list, said, “You could be anyone, an actor or any other professional. You have to understand that everything you want to be comes from the Earth.”
She reiterated the importance of protecting the climate and biodiversity at all costs and how “not enough is being done”. She also shared that “climate is not a part of any vote bank politics” and that everyone must work on it equally.
Gargi Rawat, an environmental reporter turned author, shared her motivation for writing her book titled, ‘Tiger Season’. Despite being a fiction title, she added how her book mentions some of her real-life experiences while reporting.
Rawat shared her views on how television campaigns create a sense of collective responsibility and bring the issue of climate change closer to people's hearts and minds by showcasing the real-life consequences and highlighting the urgent need for action.
Bittu Sahgal, shared how the climate crisis is real. He also emphasised the importance of acting with urgency as we have less than “five years left” before experiencing the full-blown effects of the changing climate.
“There is a real urgency in ensuring that people act, and they must act now. We cannot keep underestimating our biggest asset, nature, and expect not to suffer its consequences.”
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