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Artistes perform at the programme
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Dance, music and poetry came together in an enchanting fusion at a recent musical ballet, "Vasundhara". It was a show with a difference -- to generate awareness about climate change, one of the greatest environmental challenges of our times. Setting the tone for the evening, Nitin Desai, president of the organisation LEAD India, pointed out, "This is a function for children, by children. It is a reminder that we are here on planet earth as its guests. Therefore we have a responsibility to leave the planet in the state we found it…It is our children who will fully feel the consequences of climate change."

Likewise, Tom Alter, Indian actor, asserted, "As the Bible points out, to everything there is a season...The ballet takes us through the seasons of the human being -- anger, joy, frustration and happiness. It is our responsibility to maintain the universe but first of all we must love this gift from God."

Showing nature at its pristine best, replete with birds, animals, the seas, the ballet then goes on to show the havoc wrought by rapid industrialisation and urbanisation: manifested in a destruction of natural resources, ozone layer depletion, acid rain, tsunamis, flood, droughts, the greenhouse effect, all of which throws our ecosystem completely out of gear.

However, the ballet ends on a positive note -- human beings get a chance to restore their environment and return to a life of harmony and peace. The question arises whether in real life we will have this chance.

The show used a fusion of music and poetry, including Mozart and Tagore. The memorable programme was choreographed, directed and performed by Sharmila Ganguly, a classical Odissi dancer, along with the students of the troupe Mohini from Mount Sinai School in Ramnagar, Uttarakhand.

In the audience were a large number of adults along with the children from organisations such as Palna, SOS, Prayas and Ryan International.

More such programmes will help bring about a transformation in attitudes towards climate change. Ultimately it is our children who will bear the brunt of this environmental hazard, so isn't it time we woke out of our slumber and took urgent steps to combat it?

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