Ritanjali Hastir, Associate Editor, 23rd March, 2019, Shimla
To mark the celebration of World Water Day, HIMCOSTE, in association with WWF organized two-day long film festival at the Gaiety Theater, Shimla. In the festival, more than 200 students from different schools from all over Shimla and its surrounding areas participated and learned about the environmental crisis we are facing in the current times.
Arti Gupta, State Coordinator, WWF-India, informed about the festival saying, “We have organized nearly 20 documentaries that can make children think about the future and contemplate on the crisis we are facing today. We can only show them the way and it is for them to tread the path as change comes from within and no one can be forced to take a decision.”
Eco clubs from schools were invited so that they can share their views and learn from the experiences of other people. An interaction session was also held where children got an opportunity to clear their doubts and have a better insight into making life a better place for all.
Most of the films dealt with issues related to environment, wildlife, water, and climate change that if not controlled, then in time it can lead to a very difficult situation for all. The film festival organized by Himachal Pradesh Council for Science, Technology & Environment was in partnership with CMSR Foundation and WWF-India. The festival was inaugurated by D.C.Rana, HPAS, Director, DEST-cum-Member Secretary, HIMCOSTE.
On Day One, ten short films and documentaries were shown that highlighted issues like – need for conserving water, steps children can take in avoiding wastage and reducing pollution. Films on wildlife conservation and animation videos were also screened.
For the festival, a special package of films was curated by Delhi-based CMSR Foundation. Focus was on films that can be easily understood by school students. Films which not only talk about the environmental challenges but also focus on that solutions can be provided were featured.
The run-up to this year’s Earth Hour (March 30, 2019), a “Bee4thePlanet” was also launched on the occasion by WWF, during the festival. “Bee4thePlanet” – is a call to stand for the plant and buzz likes a bee, challenging others to do the same. As part of the campaign, even all schools are requested to encourage their students to make their ‘GiveUp’ to ‘GiveBack’ pledge. They can choose to GiveUp from among the three themes — plastic pollution, water and paper wastage”, said Arti Gupta.
Children felt more enlightened as being part of this festival as they all share, “world is a big place and it is not possible to visit it all and learn about the situations but these documentaries turned out to be an eyeopener. We all can relate to the situations depicted in films and can easily correlate to them.