- We have made two films: A City by the Side of a Wetland (2015) which is a short film and a documentary East Kolkata Wetlands: Squandering Conservation and presented them to an interested audience. We have targeted Boy Scouts and Girl Guides as one such set of audience – the interesting part was that these children all came from schools where the national language (Hindi) was the medium of instruction, while the films were in English. This proved no deterrent for communication, as the children showed a full understanding of the situation and the contents of the film. They expressed themselves clearly in follow-up sessions.
- The film East Kolkata Wetlands: Squandering Conservation has been uploaded on YouTube for a wider viewing and has been regularly having hits and viewers.
Interacting with Scouts and Guides to Spread the message of EKW
Enthusing awareness raising through seminars – Recently, at the suggestion of SCOPE, there was one seminar termed Responsible Urbanisation which had one whole day devoted to the East Kolkata Wetlands and responsible urbanisation, where the intelligentsia of the city participated. Children and teachers from 11 schools in the city contributed to the seminar, where poster-making was a part of the proceedings. The children came up with very innovative ideas to communicate their understanding of East Kolkata Wetlands importance in responsible urbanisation.
Dr. Dhrubajyoti Ghosh speaking at Sanket, the seminar which had for its theme Responsible Urbanisation.
Celebrating World Wetlands Day
SCOPE along with Art organisation Disappearing Dialogues facilitated the celebration of World Wetlands Day by the Department of Environment, Government of West Bengal. Shri Prabhat Mishra, Principal Secretary, Department of Environment, was the chief guest. The theme for World Wetlands Day 2020 was Wetlands and Biodiversity. The presence of the German Consulate on this occasion is worth a special mention. The celebration happened in Kheadaha High School, a well-known school in the East Kolkata Wetlands. Headmaster Shri Altap Sheikh was instrumental in the smooth conduct of these celebrations.
The celebrations included an exhibition of craftswork by wetland children from two schools – Bamanghata High School and Kheadaha High School – prepared through 2019. The high point of the exhibition was a biodiversity journal prepared by the children enlisting information about the plants found in their locality.
Wetland ecologist Subir Ghosh made the celebrations come alive with a vibrant reconstruction of the history of celebration of World Wetlands Day.
The panchayat representatives and the community paid a lot of heed to the information discussed in the programme. They expressed the importance of maintaining the ecological infrastructure of the area – the canals and the ponds – to ensure the sustainability of this Ramsar site. The programme’s success lay in the fact that it served as an important government to community interface, which was followed up by meetings with SCOPE regarding community welfare.