“The earth, the air, the land and the water are not an inheritance from our forefathers but on loan from our children. So we have to hand over to them at least as it was handed over to us” – this famous quote of Mahatma Gandhi aptly forms the basis of today’s ever-growing focus on sustainable development and inclusive growth. Every day 190 million people in India go to bed hungry, on the other hand privileged Indians waste 1/3rd of their food daily. Every day 350 million people in India do not get access to water, and yet privileged Indians over-use water by 1.5 times. Even today 18,000 villages in India do not have electricity, yet on an average privileged Indians waste 5-10 % electricity on daily basis.With just 2.4% of world’s total land area and supporting 17.5% of world’s total population, it is all the more essential in India that limited resources are used judiciously, without any wastage. The challenge therefore lies in bringing about an attitudinal shift in behavior towards responsible consumption patterns. With more than 500 million people under the age of 20, India is amongst the world’s largest and most youthful nation. There can therefore be no better time than today to initiate this initiative.
The Power of Comics – ‘Comics for Change’
Comics provide a unique way to communicate, using both visual images and animated text to convey the relevant message effectively. Comics can therefore trigger behavioral change among children instilling in them good values. Comic characters like Batman, Superman, Spiderman, Captain America, Shaktiman, Chacha Chaudhary and more recently Chhota Bheem are seen as Heroes of change.
On the occasion of this year’s World Environment Day, Dainik Bhaskar, India’s largest and World’s fourth largest circulated daily , has unveiled the first of the 3 part series of comics named ‘Comics for Change’ to promote responsible consumption of water, food and electricity through creative storytelling. Just as vividly as comics convey the feats of superheroes, ‘Comics for Change’ will also leverage the power of visual storytelling to amplify awareness amongst children and youths about the Sustainable Development Goals related to minimizing Water, Food and Electricity wastage thereby helping them to become more responsible citizens. The other two comics will be published on Food and Electricity.
‘Sundarvan Adventures’–Mystery of the missing water is the first comic to be published in this series. ‘Sundarvan Adventures’, done in alignment with World Environment Day’s theme, tells the story of a fun loving, energetic school going rabbit-Adi along with his adventurous set of friends including a jovial little Parrot Cheenu, a pretty little Doe-Roli and an intelligent Tortoise –Golu who saves the day for the villagers of Sundarvan from the villainous acts of Paplu Bhai–a notorious Jackal. Abhijeet Kini, creator of popular characters like Suppandi and Angry Mausi has done the art and layout for the Comic Series. Comic workshops will be conducted in more than 400 schools in the country to spread awareness about the need to use water resources judiciously.
Mr. Girish Agarwal, Director, Dainik Bhaskar Group said “Using Superheroes to weave stories around issues that matter to us is an interesting way to bring about a significant change in the society by creating super heroes of tomorrow” says. Ms. Isabelle Louis, Acting Regional Director, UNEP Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific complimented Dainik Bhaskar’s initiative and said “The launch of this comic book series in India for children and teens to help them better understand the importance of environmental conservation and a sustainable lifestyle, strengthens UNEP’s World Environment Day’s global advocacy of awareness and action to protect our environment,” said. Ms. Lise Kingo, Executive Director, UN Global Compact, New York conveyed her support and said “The UN Global Compact’s Ten Universal Principles provide a universal definition for responsible businesses. Global challenges like food and water crises are in need of contribution from the private sector. Companies that do business responsibly find opportunities to innovate around sustainability will be the business leaders of tomorrow”. Mr. Pooran Chandra Pandey, Executive Director, UN Global Compact Network India, also praised the initiative and said “I would like to congratulate Dainik Bhaskar to come up with such a wonderful initiative to make children aware of Sustainable Development Goals, also called as Global Goals, pertaining to Water and Climate action”
Being signatory to UN Global Compact Network, Dainik Bhaskar Group’s CSR initiatives contribute to UN Sustainable Development Goals of Quality Education, Zero Hunger, Clean Water and Sanitation, Sustainable Cities and Communities and Climate Action.
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