Jalal-ud-din Baba: Weaving the Wular Lake Magic
The Wular Lake in Bandipora district of Kashmir, one of Asia’s largest fresh water lakes, plays an extremely important role in Kashmir’s ecology. For Jalal-ud-din Baba, a Kashmir-based documentary maker, the survival of this lake formed the theme of his documentary ‘Saving the Saviour’, which won two awards at the sixth National Science Film Festival and Competition-2016 (NSFF), organised by Vigyan Prasar, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India held in Mumbai. Baba decided to tell the story of Billa, a 15-year-old local boy who had lost his father at the age of 9, and had been scavenging the Lake for plastic, trash and other items that could be sold at the local scrap yard. Baba explains why he picked Billa, who was then around 11 years old, for the role of the protagonist. “He was collecting trash, but that was his unique way of trying to undo the damage caused to the lake. His contribution was important, yet it was the kind of job that is rarely discussed when we talk of conservation. So, I wanted to highlight that,” says Baba.
The movie won the award for the best documentary film and the Jury award for best direction.
The awards, which saw ‘Saving the Saviour’ selected among 45 other submissions, have given the perfect encouragement to Baba to up the ante on saving the Wular. He is now planning to set up an NGO to ensure that Wular Lake, which is a world heritage wetland site under the Ramsar Convention charter of UNESCO, is saved from the same fate as Dal Lake.
(Extracted from twocircles.net)