GET Stock QuotesNews18 APP
News18 English
Powered by cricketnext logo
»
3-min read

'People Using Earth-movers to Revive Rivers': National Award-winning Director on Bharat Yatra to Save Water

The Mumbai-based writer cum filmmaker divulged that it is during his journey that he gained a first-hand understanding of India’s menacing depletion in natural resources and the need for corrective measures.

Vivek Trivedi | News18

Updated:August 5, 2018, 1:16 PM IST
facebookTwittergoogleskypewhatsapp
'People Using Earth-movers to Revive Rivers': National Award-winning Director on Bharat Yatra to Save Water
Concerned about equitable distribution of natural resources, Dalton seeks to raise awareness on environmental issues through his films.
Loading...
Bhopal: Away from the glitz and glamour of Tinseltown, filmmaker Sriram Dalton is on a ‘padayatra’ for the last three months to spread awareness on 'dying' rivers of India.

Dalton embarked on the journey from Mumbai on May 15 with scores of supporters. Braving blistering heat for 82 days, the group reached Bhopal on Saturday to highlight the issue of commercialisation of water and people’s rights on land, water and forest.

The filmmaker-turned-activist, who has 22 films to his credit shot to fame with his National Award winning movie, The Lost Behrupiya.

“Like land and forest, everyone deserves the right on water and its commercialisation must be stopped at any cost,” the filmmaker and founder of ‘Free Water Campaign’ said.

Sounding the alarm bell, Dalton said that it’s time people realise that there might be a day when they won’t be able to even buy water as most of the rivers are already dying.

“Starting from Maharashtra, I came across scores of rivers only to find that most of them are dead, barring Narmada and Tapti that had minimal water,” the filmmaker told News18, while explaining the usage of the term ‘dead’. He said that the water bodies had completely dried with no sand. There are only thorny bushes and stones on the river beds.

Narrating tales of parched villages, Dalton reminisced about water-deprived people and their struggles without the essential element of life.

In Chopda village in Maharashtra’s Jalgaon, a group of locals opened up about their hellish experiences, when for the first time in their lives the water supply ceased for almost 15 days in this year peak summer, said the 38-year-old director.

The conservationist recounted stories of people trying to revive rivers by using JCB machines to carve serpentine designs and dig 30-40 feet deep pits to bring back their water recharging capacity.

“I have been to places where the water level has plummeted to 2500-3000 feet. If nothing is done right now, the day is not far when we would be left with no water,” he said.

The Mumbai-based writer cum filmmaker divulged that it is during his journey that he gained a first-hand understanding of India’s menacing depletion in natural resources and the need for corrective measures.

Dalton, a native of Jharkhand’s Palamu, the resourceful district in the tribal-dominated state mostly known for industries and mining operations, migrated to Mumbai after completing studies in fine arts from Banaras Hindu University. He was highly influenced by the filmmaking skills of Ashok Mehta, the maker of movies like ‘Bandit Queen’ and ‘Moksha’.

In 2013, he had associated with the project Ganga Yatra and learnt about the unimaginable toxic pollution. It was around this time when he had gone back to his native town only to find locals grappling with unusually acute water shortage.

Following year in 2014, he directed ‘Spring Thunder’, an insightful movie based on land, forest and water. However, due to dearth of resources in Mumbai, Dalton returned to his native city Jharkhand to train farmers, teachers, painters and others into film making for a year.

The Nature Heart Film Institute in Jharkhand was established by him in 2015 for a nature friendly training. It was then that he learnt Jharkhand’s robust tribal movement, which sees thousands of tribals gather every year on March 22 and 23 as part of Jan Sangharsh Samiti to reclaim their rights on ‘jal-jangal-zameen’ (water-forest-land).

Concerned about equitable distribution of natural resources, Dalton seeks to raise awareness on environmental issues through his films and uses social media to supplement this by live streaming his endeavours through internet.

In 2016, he even invited filmmakers to Jharkhand and they came up with 13 films on water which were screened widely in India and received accolades. The following year saw production of seven more films.

After Maharashtra and MP, he plans to cover several other resource rich states, including Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Telangana, Odisha but wants to conclude his journey in Jharkhand.

The activist claims that water conservation is of utmost importance as it saves forest reserves, which is directly responsible for timely rainfall.

“The handing over of forest land rights to tribals won’t address the issue as it only destroys the forest area further,” said Dalton claiming that the urban population needs to assure the tribal population that they would preserve their share of forest area and only then the ethnic population would feel secured about their habitat.

Dalton and his colleagues carry a 100kg specially carved stone during their yatra.

“We all should travel extensively at least once a year to be aware of our present day realities.”

The volunteers plan to join Jan Andolan 2018, which starts on October 2, said national convener Anees Kumar of Ekta Parishad, a Gandhian organisation.
| Edited by: Ahona Sengupta
Read full article
Loading...
Next Story
Next Story

Also Watch

facebookTwittergoogleskypewhatsapp

Live TV

Loading...
Countdown To Elections Results
  • 01 d
  • 12 h
  • 38 m
  • 09 s
To Assembly Elections 2018 Results