Chennai: Ace actor Mr Abhishek Bachchan joined U.S. Consul General Thomas L. Vajda, Dr Ajay Mathur, Director General TERI and Jury members to felicitate “Green Heroes” of western India who were showcased in short films highlighting the grassroots environmental work that the heroes are doing in their local communities. The Green Heroes Workshop and Festival was organized by the U.S. Consulate General, Mumbai in partnership with The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI). Awards were given to the top three rated films: “PaanchPattiyonka Mantra” about an organic farming project in Dewas, “Tale of a Doctor” about watershed management in Pune, and “The Birdman of Chorao” about preserving the mangroves of Goa.
As part of this effort, last fall TERI identified Green Heroes in the five western Indian states of Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, and Maharashtra and paired the heroes with up-and-coming filmmakers to create films of less than five minutes documenting their good works. To support this creative venture, TERI organized film workshops in the cities of Ahmedabad, Indore, Mumbai, Panjim and Pune. The program resulted in the submission of 22 insightful and heart-warming short films about Green Heroes who are working in diverse environmental fields such as forest and water conservation, composting, wildlife protection, waste management and clean energy. Theten best films from among these wereshort-listed and screened at the April 25 award ceremony, and the top three were selected by a jury panel that includedShyamBenegal, TV anchor Ravish Kumar,well-known media figure Sabbas Joseph, TERI’s Communication Advisor Pankaj Saxenaand the U.S. Consulate Cultural Affairs Officer.
“As my very green-minded daughters often remind me, we are incredibly fortunate to have this beautiful planet as our home. Yet our growth and development have seriously taxed our planet’s resources, and we need to work together to find sustainable ways forward,” said Consul General Vajda. “As a big step in that direction, I’m honoured to help showcase the inspiring work being done by Green Heroes across Western India. I truly believe that the unsung heroes featured in our films deserve a tremendous amount of recognition, appreciation, and support for the great work they are doing to help India grow and prosper sustainably.”
“I am privileged today to honor these Green heroes armed with short films out to preserve Mother Earth. These films underscore that each one of us need to be aware about our collective responsibility toward preserving and protecting our environment and ecology,” said Mr. Abhishek Bachchan. “Being in this field, I know how powerful films are when backed with strong messaging. I hope these films help create greater awareness and broader engagement for greener and cleaner environment.”
Speaking at the event, Dr. Ajay Mathur, Director General, TERI said, “By training the next generation of documentary filmmakers to make films on Green Heroes, we hope to generate broader support for local initiatives to protect the environment. This has been a very satisfying experience for us- both in terms of finding people at the grassroots who are providing solutions to many of our environmental problems, and in discovering great storytellers to share the stories of these Green Heroes with the world.”
In a video message, Mr Suresh Prabhu, Hon’ble Minister for Railways, Government of India, said, “Making India and the world green is one sure way of addressing climate change. To do that we need many interventions, one of which is champions who people can emulate and whose examples can be replicated in many forms. This is a very good beginning, and therefore I wish all the best to TERI, which has been doing commendable for decades. I congratulate all the Green Heroes.”