Kerala Floods 2019
In a TV interview, actor Joju George said that seeing the suffering of people in the Kerala floods and landslides had deeply impacted him.
Facebook/Joju George

“It’s high time that we start becoming concerned about our environment. If not, we will suffer,” Malayalam actor Joju George told Nikesh Kumar of Reporter Live in an interview to the channel. At a time when Kerala is recovering from heavy rainfall and subsequent landslides and flooding for the second consecutive year, these statements by an award-winning actor could not be more apt.

The actor, who recently received the National Award - Special Mention for the 2018 film Joseph, revealed during the interview that he couldn’t completely enjoy the moment when he was told about the award. “I was in Bengaluru and had been watching the news since morning when I was told about the National Award on August 9. I was worried about my family and my state, which was yet again hit by the floods,” says the actor.

“I have had firsthand experience of being stranded in the floods last year, and I was worried it would happen this year as well,” Joju stated. The actor was among the many who were active in flood relief activities during the 2018 deluge, and this year too. This year, Joju along with actor Tovino Thomas took to relief work immediately after they reached Kerala. The duo set off to Nilambur in a truck filled with necessary items for relief camps.

“When Ernakulam suffered from severe floods last year, the people of Malappuram had been a huge support. They had sent in more than 40 loads of relief items. Now, it was our turn to help. Moreover, I have seen people suffering in relief camps with my own eyes. I knew these people needed help,” the actor added.

When the news anchor asked about the impact that prominent personalities like the actor himself can have among the people during such a crisis, Joju replied, “When I put up a Facebook post stating that I had contributed to the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF), the same day, I got more than 250 messages from people stating that they have also done it. This is something huge, and I believe that we have that positive impact on people.”

During his visit to Malappuram, the actor said that he had also visited the Pothukallu area which witnessed a major landslide that killed several people. And he admits that this visit has changed him as a person. “After visiting Pothukallu, I have decided that I should make a conscious effort to not do anything that would disturb nature,” he said. “I have a car which I dearly love and I do everything possible to ensure that my car is in good condition. I will start showing the same concern or even more towards nature, which is much more precious than the car. If not, we know what will happen,” he concluded.

Also read: How landless villagers got their land decades ago before Kerala landslides took it away