Bengaluru: Kannada actor and director Rishab Shetty delivered a speech at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) session in Geneva on Thursday. Shetty, who played the lead role in the hit movie ‘Kantara’, represented ECO FAWN and highlighted the importance of promoting cultural rights of forest dwellers and protecting forests internationally.
“Proud to represent ECO FAWN in submitting oral statement at UNHRC. The significance in promotion of cultural rights of forest dwellers and protection of forests in Kantara is deciphered at the international forum,” Shetty said after the speech, which he also shared on social media.
In his speech, Shetty 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,” he said.
He acknowledged the efforts of global agencies and governmental organizations in pursuing environmental sustainability and the involvement of Indian civil society in local environment protection. He also commended Indian movies that have promoted environmental protection through fictional and real stories.
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“Movies like ‘Kantara’ expose reality and inspire people to face environmental challenges and solve problems. They awaken emotions and move people towards environmental protection. I appeal to everyone present that such hard work should be recognised and encouraged,” Shetty said.
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.
“Even in my latest movie Kantara, there are important elements about human life in the lap of nature, local beliefs and ritual of people,” Shetty said. “They (such movies) show reality to the world and create awareness about environmental protection.”
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.
Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai showered praises on Rishab Shetty for his use of Kannada language during the UN Speech. “It is truly amazing that a proud Kannadigas 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.
(With IANS inputs)