First Konkani animation film focuses on Goa environment

January 13th, 2009 - 10:22 am ICT by IANS  

Panaji, Jan 13 (IANS) Groundwater contamination, mega residential projects, killing of frogs for meat - all this and more find voice in the first ever Konkani animation film “Saimakaden Samvad” that focuses on environmental degradation in the coastal state of Goa, famous for its beaches.Directed and scripted by Rajshree Bandodkar Karapurkar, a physics lecturer and Konkani sci-fi writer, the 20-minute short animation film echoes the intensified contemporary tussle between nature and rampant unplanned development, which has been the cause of prolonged civil unrest in Goa of late.

“The animation film tries to show the importance of nature through popular science, in a Goan context,” Rajshree told IANS.

“I have tried to weave in issues which are of immediate consequence to Goa. We have just seen the turmoil over the mega projects issue. The film is meant to educate the children about the effects of such unplanned development in a language they understand best,” she added.

“With large tracts of land, both barren and agricultural, being fraudulently converted for these large-scale projects, the number of pastures and farmland dotting the countryside has shrunk considerably.

“These fields were home to frogs, which play an important part in the ecosystem. Their habitat is now under threat and they are being increasingly hunted for meat. The film also attempts to create a consciousness about this senseless slaughter,” she said.

Frog meat, locally called ‘jumping chicken’, is a delicacy in Goa and although declared contraband under the Wildife Act, is in demand throughout the state.

The animation film also speaks about the contamination of groundwater, caused by excessive use of pesticides.

Released Friday, “Saimakaden Samvad” shows three children and their informative dialogue with various elements of nature and wildlife. In the end of a 20- minute dialogue, a frog and a cow finally manage to convince the children about the ravages inflicted by humans on nature.

“Animation makes it easy to explain complicated issues to children. Here it is as if these animals are explaining a point of view to the children. Animation techniques make it interesting for them. It is an excellent learning tool,” Rajshree explained.

The film also makes a point about the utter disregard in Goa for the ban on fishing in the breeding period.

“The ban on fishing in Goa is regularly abused. We tried to raise a few questions about it. Children are our future. Hopefully, when they grow up, they will not make the mistakes we did,” Rajshree said.

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