comics for change

Child rights activist and Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi during the screening of film "Jhalki" in Mumbai on Sept. 7. (IANS photo)

MUMBAI — Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi will perform stand-up comedy for the first time in his life at "Comics For Change,” a mega comedy event that brings together notable comics and entertainers from all over India Dec. 10, on the occasion of Human Rights Day.

The gala, to be hosted by Cyrus Broacha and Raageshwari Loomba, aims to encourage the youth to embrace United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals.

Notable names who will perform at the event include Bollywood actor Deepak Dobrial, singer Neeti Mohan, lifestyle coach and motivational speaker Gaur Gopal Das, besides popular comedians Johnny Lever, Boman Irani, Abish Mathew, Tanmay Bhat, Kaneez Surka, Sumukhi Suresh, Prashasti Singh among others. Overall, three generations of performers will come together on one platform to do comedy.

Apart from spreading laughter, the comics will also help start a relevant conversation to create awareness and sensitize the future generation so that they embrace 'sustainability' as a core of their social, political and business decisions.

"Comics For Change" is curated by Cyrus Broacha and Kunal Vijayakar, and is conceptualized by Business of Ideas and Vineet Mehra, who is the founder of DOT, a green mobility solutions provider. Supporting the initiative are the UN Women, the Global Sustainability Network, the Kailash Satyarthi Children's Foundation, and SVKM's NMIMS B-School.

Commenting on the cause, Nobel Laureate 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, humor, and sincerely hope it will educate and inspire the masses to remind their leaders to keep the promise."

Speaking about Comics For Change, Vijayakar said: "Today the biggest problem we face is climate change, 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.”

“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 talents of India is coming together to tell us about our sustainability goals and how we can help and stop climate change."

Said Broacha, with characteristic wit: " '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.” 

“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. 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 math. And 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's sustainable issues all over."

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