Many children and teachers skipped The Man Who Stopped The Desert, a film that aptly drove home the message of the need to conserve the nature.

There were only a handful of students left in the Loyola Hall of St. Aloysius College at the end of the one-hour long film, which is on the reforestation work taken up by an illiterate peasant that transformed the life in a drought-affected village in Burkina Faso in West Africa.

This film was among the three screened at the Loyola Hall on the occasion of World Environment Day.

The programme was organised jointly by the Association of British Scholars, Mangalore Chapter, the Pilikula Regional Science Centre Society, the St. Aloysius PU College and the Bellimandala Film Society, Mangalore.

Short films

The Loyola Hall of St. Aloysius College was packed with students when screening of short films began. John D'Silva, the principal of the St. Aloysius Pre-University College, said seeing the three films students would be definitely inspired to work more in protection of the environment.

The first short film was “Water Village” based on the watershed programme of the villagers from Hiware Bazar in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra that improved the water table of the area. This 10-minture long film showed the way the villagers hade adopted drip irrigation and organic farming to improve the agriculture yield.

The next film was “The Coral Gardner” that was adjudged as the best short film at the Wild Screen Film Festival in 2010.

This film by Emma Robens was about scientist Dr. Austin Bowden-Kerby's work with communities in Fiji to restore endangered coral reefs.

The film showed Dr. Austin's love for gardening and his passion for the protection of the underwater world. The last one on the list was the “The man who stopped the desert” based on the works of Yacouba Sawadogo, a farmer in Gourga village in northern Burkina Faso.

Drought

The film depicted the drought in the region in the period between 1975 and 1985, and how families suffered because of the drop in agriculture yield.

It's Yacouba Sawadogo adaptation of traditional “Zai” way of conservation, with some modifications that the villagers adopted to create a large biodiversity in their area. Deputy Conservator of Forest (Mangalore) Vijayakumar, Director of Pilikula Regional Science Centre Society K.V. Rao, and principal of Yenapoya School C.K. Manjunath participated in the programme.