They bat for environment through cartoons and caricatures

30 art works speak against Nethravathi river diversion project

They bat for environment through cartoons and caricatures

The 30-odd cartoons and caricatures put up by seven artists at Orchid gallery here are a heart-rendering plea to protect the Western Ghats and river Nethravathi from the hands of the so-called harbingers of development.

The art on canvas awakens the audience to the impending danger of drought and parched lands that may be the future of the green enveloped South Canara, if Yettinahole project is implemented.

The three-day exhibition which kick started on Monday on the theme, "Save Nethravathi" is being jointly organised by Karavali Yuva Sinchana, Vanya Charana Balaga and Orchid Art Gallery. John Chandran, Yati Sidhakatte, Jeevan, Harini, Satheesh Acharya, Uday Vitla and Dinesh Kukkajedka are the artists who have made the canvas to propagate a timely message. In one of the cartoon, Uday Vitla has depicted a person undergoing surgery.

The doctors have gouged out the person's eyes and is going to transplant it on his head hinting that the diversion of Nethravathi river is such like a stupidity. In one of Dinesh Kukkajedka's work, the river Nethravathi has been diverted into the mouth of opportunistic politicians' with a caption-"its not river, but a treasure turning project."

In one of the caricature, Forest, Ecology and Environment Minister Ramanath Rai is seen with an uprooted tree on his hand but telling that “We will protect each tree.”

The trustee of Convenor Forum Udupi, Shantharaj Aithal inaugurated the exhibition. He lamented that in India anyone can do anything with rivers whereas in foreign countries it has been treated as a natural property. “We see trucks and other vehicles being washed in river water causing pollution. All the activities that lead to the pollution of rivers should be stopped. Western Ghats is the third largest biodiversity hotspot in the country and it should be protected,” he asserted. Dr Niranjan Rai, an environment activist said that politicians of the region are well aware of the fact that if the river diversion takes place, nothing will happen as the people are not united. William Pais of Orchid Art Gallery spoke.

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