We read a lot of books and articles on climate change and there is no denying the fact that the world needs a magic wand to change the ongoing climate crisis. But thankfully, God has created humans who can act as magic wands and change the bad into good if they really want to. There are so many people doing this job in groups and also at an individual level, but they are not known to the world. And this has been done beautifully by Rumana Hussain in her book Pakistan’s Climate Change Heroes.

Hussain acknowledges 14 heroes from across Pakistan who have taken the ongoing crisis of climate change in Pakistan into their hands and have made their life’s ambition to become the change-makers in their respective fields. The book is launched by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy’s production house SOC Films’ and is the first publication, under its outreach initiative SOCH Outreach Foundation. Under the name of Pakistan’s Climate Change Heroes, the film and book series aim to spark a conversation on the issue that’s becoming more relevant and pressing by the day.

So what attracts kids the most? Illustrations, colours and text that doesn’t look like the one in their academic books. Right? The good news is the book has all of it. You will be delighted to see the colours and brightly made illustrations with text that is easy to grasp; yet the underlying deep message is how these 14 heroes are playing their part in restoring what is left to us.

The book not only draws attention to the biggest crisis of this century — global warming and climate change — but it is also a wake-up call to this alarming situation.

These 14 heroes include Safdar Hussain from Balochistan, Gulab Shah from Sindh, Asif Murad, Rehmat Ali Dost from Chitral, and Amanullah Khan from Gilgit-Baltistan, Ahmad Shabbar, Khurram Bhatti from Karachi, Salim Dablo a fisherman from Sindh, Saad Bin Azam from Punjab and Amjad Rashid from Quetta, Hasnain Lilani from Karachi.

While the female climate heroes featured in the book are Hira Wajahat from Karachi, Sabiha Zaman from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Garnaz Baloch from district Nasirabad, near the Pakistan-Iran border.

Moreover, to grab your attention, the titles given to these heroes are also amusing and unique in their own way. For example, Ahmad Shabbar is “The Garbage Magician”; for Gulab Shah, it is “Rooting for the Mangroves”; Garnaz Baloch is “Linking women and water” and Sabiha Zaman’s is “Teaching coexistence”, besides other such unique and interesting titles for others.

One of the unique aspects about the book is that it is bilingual, which means the book focuses not just on English readership, but also those who prefer reading in Urdu. This way, the message can be spread as far as possible. So from the left you can read in English and from the right side you can go through its Urdu version.

While keeping in mind the children’s perspective of things, Hussain has done a great job in her choice of words, all simple and easy. Though it is a children’s book, it should be read by all as it offers inspiration to do something for our country by showcasing real-life heroes. It also informs about the various factors contributing to climate change and the resulting problems. For instance, we get to know how the melting of glaciers and floods affects the growth of crops, plants and other living beings and how can we minimise greenhouse gasses from playing havoc with the environment.

The book is a great source to know about various new sustainable alternatives and solutions for the problems arising from climate change.

SOC Films also announced the distribution of the book free of cost to educational institutes.

Published in Dawn, Young World, July 2nd, 2022

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