Build Back Better! The message resonated across the globe as the pandemic raged across nooks and corners of the world in 2020. As 2021 started with a renewed hope of overcoming the pandemic with vaccines, the time is ripe for humanity to look back and learn from the mistakes of the past.
Climate change, loss of biodiversity, poaching, wildlife trade, land degradation and many other human-induced drivers continue to destroy our ecosystem and compromise the long-term wellbeing of humans. The broken relationship between humans and nature induced the current crisis of COVID-19, and the message from global icons and thought leaders this year was to focus on mending this very relationship.
On multiple occasions—from Migratory Bird Day to Environmental Day to Wildlife Week—several celebrity environmentalists urged people to conserve biodiversity through The Weather Channel India. Moreover, crucial messages around vector-borne diseases, rescuing Indian dogs, water conservation and the monsoon were all part of the public dialogues through our platform this year. Here are the highlights of some such campaigns and dialogues from 2020:
Dia Mirza Advocates sustainable lifestyle changes; says ‘we don’t have a choice’
In an exclusive Instagram Live session with The Weather Channel India on the occasion of World Environment Day (WED 2020), popular actor, producer and UNEP Goodwill Ambassador Dia Mirza said, “The 8 million species that we share our planet with are deeply connected with our lives. Our relationship with nature, how we treat nature, will define the way our future is going to unfold.”
The United Nation Secretary General’s Advocate for Sustainable Development Goals, Dia Mirza advocated the necessity to make personal lifestyle changes for building a sustainable world. The theme for this 2020’s WED, time for nature, had put the spotlight on the rapidly shrinking natural treasure of the Earth: biodiversity. Click here to read more.
Raghu Dixit shares his love for animals, bats for strong environmental regulation
Popular Indian folk musician Raghu Dixit has stolen millions of hearts with his high-pitched rock music over the last two decades. This year, he chose to raise his voice for a different cause, pets and rescued animals. The singer-composer has been vocal about animal welfare with multiple campaigns against animal cruelty. In October, Raghu Dixit released a new album titled ‘Tsunami’, which celebrated pet-love, along with a key message, ‘adopt, don’t shop’. In an exclusive Instagram Live with The Weather Channel India following the album’s release, Raghu Dixit spoke about the motivation behind his compassion for animals. Read more about his inspiration and his call for environmental conservation.
Madhuri Dixit, Kamal Hassan, Ronnie Screwvala and others spread awareness about malaria
The non-profit organisation Malaria No More India (MNM) joined hands with The Weather Channel India, along with multiple organisations in September to spread awareness about the vector-borne diseases. On the occasion of World Mosquito Day, the national campaign named ‘Bite Ko Mat Lo Lite’ saw many global icons like Madhuri Dixit, Dr Shriram Nene, Kamal Hassan, Ronnie Screwvala and others talking about the importance of continued focus on deadly diseases like malaria even amid a pandemic. Watch what they had to say here.
Even in the earlier months, several experts and influencers voiced concerns through The Weather Channel over the impact of lockdowns and other restrictions on the efforts to curb malaria and other vector-borne diseases across India, especially during the monsoons. The constant public dialogue and awareness campaigns by the likes of Malaria No More India has been a major boost towards achieving the country’s ultimate goal of malaria-free India by 2030. Read more about these campaigns here and here.
Grammy-Winning Musician Ricky Kej says conservation is more urgent than ever
On the occasion of World Biodiversity Day 2020, The Weather Channel India caught up with Ricky Kej to learn about the inspiration behind creating music on environmental issues. In an exclusive Instagram Live, he reiterated the message he drives home through his concerts: “Somewhere along our journey of being humans, we have forgotten that we are not the only species on this planet. We are just one among millions and millions of species!” Being the UNESCO ‘Ambassador for Kindness’ and an Ambassador for UNICEF and Earth Day Network emphasises that the message of conservation is more important today than ever. Read what he said here.
Padma Shri Nila Madhab Panda on promoting environmental awareness through cinema
During the campaign named ‘Biodiversity Matters’ in May and June, The Weather Channel India caught up with Padma Shri and National award-winning filmmaker and environmentalist Nila Madhab Panda through an exclusive Instagram Live. Born in a small village Dasharajpur in Odisha, Panda grew up to be a visionary environmentalist, promoting messages like climate action, water conservation, education and sanitation through his movies and documentaries. On asking the motivation behind making movies and documentaries on environmental causes, Panda says, “My job as an artist is to tell stories that are important. I just do what inspires me.” Here is what he feels about climate change and environmental conservation.
Journey of Dr Rajendra Singh, the Waterman of India
Dr Rajendra Singh is known for transforming the lives of lakhs of people in Rajasthan, defying all odds throughout his life. After beginning his career in the field of medicine, he had to change course as he witnessed the dire shortage of water in Rajasthan. Through his organisation Tarun Bharat Sangh, Dr Singh has revived thousands of water bodies over the past three decades. For his dedicated work, he has also won prestigious awards like Magsaysay Award in 2001 and the Stockholm Water Prize in 2015. The Weather Channel India caught up with the Waterman of India on the occasion of the World Environment Day to understand more about his journey as an EcoGuardian. Read more about his inspirational story here.
Singer Paroma Dasgupta grooves to the music of monsoon
The intricate relationship between music and monsoon is truly timeless. Right in the middle of Monsoon 2020, Smule and The Weather Channel India came together to rejoice the beauty of monsoon with music and celebrate the significance of monsoon in our personal lives. In an Instagram Live chat hosted by RJ Rohini Ramanathan, the popular Bollywood playback singer Paroma Dasgupta recalled the fond memories of monsoon and sang some of her favourite rain songs. Click here to listen to what Paroma said and here to listen to some timeless Hindi rain songs.
Leading wildlife photographers spread awareness about the importance of biodiversity conservation
“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better”. Not all of us are fortunate enough to spend time in the wild. To look deeper into nature, one needs to have passion, dedication, perseverance, patience and knowledge of the wildlife. Only a chosen few dare to venture into the wild and these remarkable wildlife photographers spend days and months behind lenses to help us maintain the connection with nature. Throughout the year, The Weather Channel India interacted with several popular wildlife photographers across the country to bring out memorable glimpses from the wild under the series titled ‘Clicking With Nature’. Here’s a glimpse into the exciting tales from the popular wildlife photographers like Amoghavarah JS, Kalyan Varma, Sudhir Shivaram and Rathika Ramasamy.
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