SHILLONG, AUG 25: Two of the renowned environmental film director Mike Pandey’s films Shores of Silence: Whale Sharks in India” and “Vanishing Giants” were screen at U Soso Tham auditorium on Monday followed by an interactive session between the director and the students.
Martin Luther Christian University (MLCU)’s department of Environment & Traditional Ecosystems in collaboration with the NSS unit of the university organized the screening.
The screening was held in the presence of Mike Pandey, MLCU vice chancellor Robert G Lyngdoh, registrar Donald D Ingty, and Dr. GC Kharkongor the pro chancellor of the University.
More than 400 students and faculty of MLCU and other colleges attended the screening of the two documentary films.
MLCU vice chancellor RG Lyngdoh stressed the need for a change not just in the state but in the country as well to deal with environment’s issues. He said, “We all need to have a fire in our belly that will propel us towards making the change in our mindset and make the necessary changes to protect and preserve our environment.”
Addressing the audience during the screening Pandey said right now the Earth is in trouble and all need to gather their resources and heal it. He said, “Earth is the Mother of all mothers who has nurtured mankind so thousands of years and right now it is in desperate need of help.”
Pandey also said that the world is now riddled with viruses, pathogens, diseases and more that have come because of man’s desperate need for more and more. He said, “We have a voice but there is another world who don’t have a voice, therefore I urge you to use your voice and help the world that has sustained us for so long.”
Pandey also described humans as the weakest species in planet Earth and said that man learn to walk and talk at a slower pace than the other species on Earth yet mankind are the ones that exploit it the most.
The documentaries screened during the day were both instrumental in bringing about the ban of killing the whale sharks in India and the protection laws of the elephants in the country.
‘Shores of Silence: Whale Sharks in India’ is a landmark film by Mike Pandey that brought about major legislative changes to protect whale sharks worldwide. This documentary depicts the needless killing and harvesting of whale sharks by poor Indian communities. In response to the film, the Indian government introduced legislature to ban fishing of whale sharks, declaring them endangered species and protecting them under the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972.
The film won 11 international awards including The Wildscreen Panda, also known as the Green Oscar.
‘Vanishing Giants’ depicts the cruel and inhuman treatment meted out to an imprisoned elephant leading to his eventual death. The idea of the film is to awaken people to the horrific plight of a captured elephant.
The disturbing documentary won Pandey his first Wildscreen Award.
During the interactive session, both students and faculties took the opportunity to pose questions to Pandey.
While answering queries’ on ways to help the environment, Pandey stressed on the need to recycle and reuse everyday materials and to be wary of using plastic bottles or plastic materials.
Responding to a question on the effects of mining, Pandey observed that though mining minerals are important but it should not be at the expense of the health of the planet as a whole.
“We are in the middle of a crisis right now; we should try to find a solution to this issue (pollution due to mining), scientific and eco-friendly means should be applied when it comes to mining,” responded Pandey.
Pandey also urged the students to use their education as a weapon in creating awareness about the need to protect and preserve the environment and to protest against the exploitation of the environment in a united front.
Pandey will also be meeting and interacting with local environmentalists, ngos on Tuesday, on the “Scenario of Wildlife of Meghalaya”, where the need of a Wildlife Policy in the state will be one of the talking points.
Pandey is a guest of the MLCU and the Convocation Speaker at the 7th Convocation of the University to be held on August 27 at the U Soso Tham Auditorium Hall, State Central Library.- By Our Reporter