A week-long fest held recently at BNM Institute of Technology gave the students a chance to get in touch with nature.
Called ‘Srishti Sambhrama... the Earth Mother Festival’, this programme gave students a deeper understanding of Indian flora and fauna through exhibitions, screening of films on wildlife, interactive talks with conservationists and a panel discussion called ‘Spectrum of Expressions’.
What was really interesting about this fest was the fact that it was open to the general public. Over 20 conservationists came together to exhibit their photographs, screen documentaries and share their own expertise and experiences with a cross-section of people.
One of the documentaries screened was Sandesh Kadur’s ‘Sahyadris — Mountains of the Monsoon’, which led to an interesting dialogue between the audience and the director.
Interactive talks were held by several people, including retired principal chief conservator of forests M N Jayakumar, Sundara Rajan, K V Gururaja, Praveen Bhargava, Manoj Sindagi and Vijay Mohan Raj.
Some of the topics that they touched upon included sacred trees, an overview of Indian biodiversity, frogs of the Western Ghats, the problem of mindless mining, wildlife photography and the potential of using photography as a tool for conservation. An interesting film that was screened was ‘Wild Dogs’ by Krupa and Senani, which has won the Oscar Green Award.
Well-known wildlife photographer, Dinesh Kumble, too visited the campus and shared his thoughts on the forests of Gujarat with the students. T N A Perumal, also a noted wildlife photographer, spoke to the students about the changes in the field of wildlife photography.
Ashish Galagali, a fourth-semester student of the college, says that the fest was a very enriching experience. “Through the event, we found out about how the increasing number of wildlife photographers is effecting the forests. Vijay Mohan Raj, an IFS officer, spoke to us about his initiative called ‘Huli’. He explained how engineers like us can contribute to help conserve wildlife,” adds Ashish.
The highlight of the event was the panel discussion called ‘Spectrum of Expressions’.
The panel included wildlife photographers M N Jayakumar and Manoj Sindagi, theatre personality Prakash Belawadi, dancer Parshwanath Upadhye, percussionist Harsha Samaga and flautist Jayaram.
All of them expressed their emotions in their genre of artistry based on select photographs of wildlife. The fest finally concluded with a discussion on the traditional and contemporary perspectives on the interdependence in nature.