Kannada actor Rishab Shetty recently delivered a speech at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) session in Geneva, where he represented ECO FAWN and highlighted the importance of promoting cultural rights of forest dwellers and protecting forests internationally. Shetty, who played the lead role in the hit movie ‘Kantara’, stressed the need for environmental sustainability and how cinema can play an important role in promoting environmental awareness.
“Environmental sustainability is the need of the hour. As an actor and director, my aim is to impact at the grassroots level,” said Shetty. He also acknowledged the efforts of global agencies and governmental organizations in pursuing environmental sustainability and the involvement of Indian civil society in local environment protection.
Shetty explained that ‘Kantara’ portrays the connection between humans and their environment, co-existence, and cultural values. The film focuses on local environmental protection, the role of government, and the importance of communities in solving environmental problems. “They (such movies) show reality to the world and create awareness about environmental protection,” he said.
However, Shetty’s speech was cut short after only 12 seconds due to technical issues. Sources close to Shetty explained that the speech was halted because translation was not available and another speaker was given the chance to speak.
Despite the setback, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai praised Shetty for his use of Kannada language during the UN speech. “It is truly amazing that a proud Kannadiga represented India in the United Nations and spoke in Kannada. Regards @shetty_rishab, I salute your love of Kannada with all my heart,” the CM tweeted in Kannada.
Shetty was pleased with his opportunity to represent ECO FAWN and to address the importance of environmental sustainability and cultural rights of forest dwellers at an international forum. “Movies like ‘Kantara’ expose reality and inspire people to face environmental challenges and solve problems. I appeal to everyone present that such hard work should be recognised and encouraged,” he said.
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