Water is a scarce natural resource. As we all know that even though 71% of land is covered by water, only about 2.5% of the total water available on earth is fresh water and can be used for human consumption.
The international short film festival – Jal Katha 2019 was a small step towards highlighting the common man’s role in protecting and avoiding wastage of this natural resource. Films submitted to Jal Katha 2019 were screened on 24th March 2019 in the presence of a large audience at the C.V. Raman auditorium in the IISER, Pune campus. The festival was graced by Prof. Shyam Rai, Dean of faculty at IISER, Pune, Prof. S.N. Rajaguru, and many other Geoscientists and people from different walks of life. The final award selection was done by a professional jury comprising of film scholar Ms. Gayatri Chatterjee, Mr. Shashank Deshpande, an eminent hydro-geologist, Dr V. S. Rao, a scientist with IISER and Mr. Vivek Kannadi of the media centre at IISER
Of the numerous entries received for the contest, 10 films were selected for screening by the review committee. The films ranged in duration from 2 to 11 mins. All the films screened were well appreciated by the audience.
Three films – two for the silver award and one for the gold were selected by the eminent jury. The silver awards were bagged by Udakam, a film made by Rohen Jadhav and Aswastha Ujani directed by Kiran Joshi. Tarsh (Thirst), a film made by Tejas Patil bagged the Gold award.
Jal Katha 2019 was co-hosted by the by Centre for Education and Research in Geosciences (CERG) Pune and Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) , Pune. Jal Katha 2019 was organised as a part of the larger “Geoscience for All” initiative of CERG. ‘Geoscience for All’ is a volunteer initiative of professional Earth Scientists to promote Earth Literacy – translating information on Earth science into a language & learning that can be understood by the common man. We now plan to screen these films in schools, colleges and public forums to continue highlighting awareness of the need for judicious use of water.