Spotlight on disappearing vultures

VULTURES CONTINUE to occupy centre-stage with Miditech Productions now coming up with a new programme titled "Vultures: Death Watch", which investigates the reasons behind the dwindling numbers of big birds across the country.

The programme to be telecast on National Geographic this coming Saturday at 7 p.m. will come only an hour before another programme on the same subject on Discovery Channel titled "The Last Flight" to be aired at 8 p.m. under the Discover India series.

At a press conference in Delhi on Wednesday, the Chief Executive Officer Of Miditech Productions, Nikhil J. Alva, said: "The timing of the programme could not have been better. The issue has been taken up at the highest level and the Government is taking action to address the problem."

The company is also looking at doing a follow-up of the programme, analysing how much the Government's latest announcements would actually help the vulture population. Filmed over a year, "Vultures: Death Watch" finds that the falling vulture numbers have now spread beyond India to Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan. It also looks at different theories and follows scientists as they battle to find out what is killing vultures in the sub-continent.

The film also follows television personality Cyrus Broacha, a Parsi, as he finds out how deeply the disappearance of the vultures affects the traditions of the Parsi community who leave their dead out for the vultures to feed on. Maintaining purity of the body and soul is one of the key tenets of Parsi faith and `Vultures: Death Watch' explores how the community has been affected by the disappearance of the vultures in India.

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