About the Film:
In the far reaching north east of India, lies the island of Majuli, situated in the middle of the Bramaputra River. Majuli is the worlds largest river island, and is home to the Assamese neo-Vaisnvite indigenous culture. Over the last 100 years, Majuli island has experienced severe soil erosion due to flooding caused by global warming, and has lost over 70% of its landmass. Thousands of homes and farms have had to be abandoned. Today, much of the riverbank is nothing but barren sandbars, and the island is at risk of disappearing.
In the 1970’s a local man named Jadav Payeng decided to start planting things to combat the erosion of his island. Over the past 34 years, he has planted an astonishing 1400 acres of forest. This is an area larger than Central Park in New York City. This new forest, dubbed Molai’s Woods is now home to many animals including rhinos, tigers, and elephants.
Payeng lives in a small house he built himself, and has a small subsistence farm. He lives simply. He works not for money or fame, but to protect his environment. His achievement has not come easily. He’s had to fight against poachers and was seen as an outcast by local villagers
India’s Western Ghats are home to rare species found nowhere else on the planet, but they’ve been ravaged and systematically destroyed over the decades. All that’s left of once extensive forests and grasslands are scattered fragments.
‘SOS – Save Our Sholas’ provides a glimpse into the amazing diversity of life in the ‘shola’ forests of the southern Western Ghats. The film also illustrates some of the pressing problems that beset this fragile landscape and seeks to inspire viewers with examples of conservation successes that came about because of peoples’ action. The film aspires to stimulate a renewed interest in the conservation of the Western Ghats, which are the birthplace of most south Indian rivers, and a lifeline for hundreds of millions of people in peninsular India.
Look forward to a good screening,
Team Khula Manch