Chennai-based organisation invokes actors, celebrities to bring attention to climate change issues

The organisation, Poovulagin Nanbargal, uses the birth dates and birth places of popular Tamil actors to highlight how climate change, such as increasing hot days, has affected the State over the decades

December 19, 2022 04:00 pm | Updated 05:26 pm IST - CHENNAI

Posters reveal the increasing number of hot days in places over the years, one of the indicators of climate change

Posters reveal the increasing number of hot days in places over the years, one of the indicators of climate change | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Did you know that in 1985, the year that Actor Sivakarthikeyan was born, his birthplace Sivaganga had 245 days of hot weather? And that this has increased to 290 days in 2022?

In a unique way to bring about awareness and highlight climate change, Poovulagin Nanbargal, an environmental organisation has initiated a campaign across social media where they are mapping how Tamil Nadu’s climate has changed over the last few decades, using birth dates and places of celebrities, as well as historical events.

Like the post of Sivakarthikeyan, similar posters which say #ClimateChangeisReal feature actors Vijay Sethupathi, Kamal Haasan and Vijay. The poster featuring actor Vijay for instance, details how in 1974, Chennai had 202 hot weather days in comparison to 241 days in 2022. While Rajapalayam in 1974, when Vijay Sethupathi was born, had 261 days with high temperatures, the number increased to 320 days in 2022.

“The campaign is a part of our ongoing climate literacy efforts. Apart from actors, we will also be featuring cricket players, football players, political leaders and will also map the dates of historical events and the changes that have happened since then. This, we felt, was the best way to grab attention and highlight the threat of climate change,” said G. Sundarrajan, a member of Poovulagin Nanbargal.

Of the initial feedback they have received, he said that fans of the actors in particular have said that this was an eye-opener for them and that they are hoping more people will engage with them through this campaign to understand climate change better, as well as what part they can play in mitigating the climate crisis. The campaign is expected to continue through the next year.

“The hot weather days we indicate in our posters refer to days where the temperature is above 32 degree Celsius. In 2050 it is expected that around 272 days in a year will have temperatures over 38 degrees which is extremely worrying,” Mr Sundarrajan said.

As a part of their climate literacy efforts, Poovulagin Nanbargal has also been organising climate change conferences for students, and holding climate briefings for political leaders. When the synthesis report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is released in March, they are planning on taking it to the leaders in the State.

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