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Keep your voice alive while telling a story: Mira Nair

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Filmmaker Mira Nair said in an interview that even with all pulls and pressures of making a film, keep your voice alive with entertainment.

The maker of several critically acclaimed as well as commercially successful movies such as “Monsoon Wedding” (2001), “Salaam Bombay” (1988), “Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love” (1996) and “Mississippi Masala” (1991), is currently busy with the post-production of her new film “Queen of Katwe”.

Nair said, “There are commercial pulls, of course, when you are helming a film. And bigger the project, the greater the number of people you are answerable to. But in the midst of all this, I always try to keep my voice alive. As the director of a film, as the story teller, you have to keep your voice alive.’’

Her film “Queen of Katwe”, produced by Walt Disney Pictures, is a biography on the life of Phiona Mutesi, an 11-year-old Ugandan girl who coincidentally walks into a chess school in her city, develops a passion for the game, and goes on to become a world class player at a very young age. The movie is set to be released in October this year, stars Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o.

“When I heard the story from a Disney representative, I was like ‘That’s my stuff’, and I instantly agreed to direct the film,” said Nair.

The National Award winning director who is known for the bold theme and treatment of the story said, “I don’t think boldness should be associated with showing off the skin. It’s not the basis of boldness. I think there is a lot bolder thinking that is now in the cinema here.”

“Also, the craft and quality have seen miles of improvement. In earlier days we had to be apologetic about the standard of things, but now we are as good as anyone else. That is just really exciting,” she added.

Explaining on one of her films “Kama Sutra”, which caused an uproar in the 1990s, she said, “Yes, definitely I would make it very differently because the world has changed and I have grown. But, yes, censorship is still there. That has not changed here, and that is incredible. Not just in cinema but in society as well. In that sense, it’s not the most open place we have been in.’’

Nair looks film as a medium of bringing about positive change in society. She also runs a film training institute called Maisha Film Lab in Uganda.

“It’s really for you to say. But I think in terms of activism associated with my films, be it Salaam Baalak Trust or Maisha, taking the idea of cinema as a way to change people, I feel heartened. I am glad that we have impacted thousands of lives,” Nair said.

She is amazed if you can create a platform where people can start to talk again.

“That’s extraordinary. So that is the power sometimes you are privileged to have had, and that is the power of cinema that can keep on going,” she added.(IANS)

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Report Claims, As Many As 1 Billion Indians Live in Areas of Water Scarcity

The report also highlighted that India uses the largest amount of groundwater -- 24 per cent of the global total and the country is the third largest exporter of groundwater -- 12 per cent of the global total.

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Global groundwater depletion - where the amount of water taken from aquifers exceeds the amount that is restored naturally - increased by 22 per cent between 2000 and 2010, said the report, adding that India's rate of groundwater depletion increased by 23 per cent during the same period. Pixabay

As many as one billion people in India live in areas of physical water scarcity, of which 600 million are in areas of high to extreme water stress, according to a new report.

Globally, close to four billion people live in water-scarce areas, where, for at least part of the year, demand exceeds supply, said the report by non-profit organisation WaterAid.

This number is expected to go up to five billion by 2050, said the report titled “Beneath the Surface: The State of the World’s Water 2019”, released to mark World Water Day on March 22.

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Pure water droplet. Pixabay

Physical water scarcity is getting worse, exacerbated by growing demand on water resources and and by climate and population changes.

By 2040 it is predicted that 33 countries are likely to face extremely high water stress – including 15 in the Middle East, most of Northern Africa, Pakistan, Turkey, Afghanistan and Spain. Many – including India, China, Southern Africa, USA and Australia – will face high water stress.

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Globally, close to four billion people live in water-scarce areas, where, for at least part of the year, demand exceeds supply, said the report by non-profit organisation WaterAid. Pixabay

Global groundwater depletion – where the amount of water taken from aquifers exceeds the amount that is restored naturally – increased by 22 per cent between 2000 and 2010, said the report, adding that India’s rate of groundwater depletion increased by 23 per cent during the same period.

Also Read: Beware! Sipping Hot Tea Raises Risk of Esophageal Cancer

The report also highlighted that India uses the largest amount of groundwater — 24 per cent of the global total and the country is the third largest exporter of groundwater — 12 per cent of the global total.

The WaterAid report warned that food and clothing imported by wealthy Western countries are making it harder for many poor and marginalised communities to get a daily clean water supply as high-income countries buy products with considerable “water footprints” – the amount of water used in production — from water-scarce countries. (IANS)