R20 Has Big Impact on Mumbai: Report from India, April 2016

Throughout April, Racing to Zero was screened four times as part of Earth Month celebrations in Mumbai, thanks to the US Consulate in Mumbai and particularly Brittany Stewart, Assistant Cultural Affairs director, who contributed to this report. The film was very well received and resonated with a varied audience including students, activists, governmental officials, housing societies, and businesses.

After each screening audience members requested the film be shared with more groups, and the consulate is now receiving multiple requests from within Mumbai and even outside Mumbai to do more!

See below for a synopsis of each screening:

April 1, 2016  *Earth Month – Precursor* 

Mumbai PAS partnered with IVLP alumnus Jitendra Gavali, Director, Community Science Centre in Vadodara, Gujarat for a special screening of the American Documentary film “Racing to Zero” followed by a discussion led by the ACAO. The event received an overwhelming response of around 125 people, with many having to be turned away from the venue due to lack of space! The program had excellent focused questions, discussions, comments, and comparatives sighting challenges as well as possible solutions to try replicating the San Francisco’s initiative of attaining “Zero Waste” for Vadodara. The Centre would like to conduct more screenings for schools and community groups.



April 22, 2016  *Earth Day*

S. Consulate Mumbai screened the documentary ‘Racing to Zero – in Pursuit of Zero Waste’ by Christopher Beaver as a part of the Earth Day events on April 22, 2016, attended by over 50 people. The audience members consisted of Rotary Club members, environmentalists and professors and students of the environment domain. The screening was followed by a panel discussion on ‘Urban Waste Management: Challenges and Possible Solutions for Indian Metros’. Eminent subject experts such as: Prakash Dandekar, Environmentalist, Innovator and Authority on Vermicompost, Sharad Kale – Scientist at BARC (Bhabha Automatic Research Center), Vidyadhar Walavalkar – Member of Faculty at Thane College and Environment Activist served on the panel. The discussion was moderated by Dr Archana Bhatnagar – Head of Resource Management Department – SNDT University. The panelists talked about various ways in which the waste can not only be managed, but also turned into a resource. During the Q&A session after the panel discussion, the audience members expressed their concerns about the waste management situation in India and in Mumbai in particular and sought solutions that can be implemented at individual and organizational level. The program ended with attendees remarking that they were inspired to do their bit in reaching zero waste.


April 23, 2016  *Earth Month – Continued*

PAS Mumbai collaborated with Rachna Sansad institute of Environmental Architecture to screen a documentary “Racing to Zero” directed by an American environmental documentary maker Christopher Beaver followed by a panel discussion on waste management. The film had a standing-room-only audience of 150 and a panel of heavy hitters, who discussed waste management issues in Mumbai, included E Ravindran, Municipal Commissioner of Kalyan Dombivili Municipal Corporation; Mr. Mandar Halbe, Corporator, Kalyan Dombivili Municipal Corporation, Civil Engineer of Mumbai Municipal Corporation; architect Milind Sambhare, Chairman, Indian Institute of Architects (IIA); and Dr. Rakesh Kumar, Scientist and Head, National Environmental, Engineering Research Institute. The movie led to a spirited discussion about the Deonar waste dump, how to manage solid waste in Mumbai, challenges facing municipal corporations, and the need for greater public awareness. The audience too contributed giving some excellent suggestions such as recognizing and giving financial incentives to housing societies and large housing complexes to manage waste and harvest water. Coming out of the event, there seemed to be a nascent initiative to coordinate between government, business, and civil society on waste.

What really made this event unique is that post screening PAS staff was mobbed by business and housing society reps to ask about screening the documentary. This included requests from Reliance Retail Limited, whose rep said he wanted to screen the film for the company’s employees, and the Good Governance India Foundation, a non-profit that works with Municipal Corporations, who asked to screen the film for an upcoming conference with CEOs, Municipal Commissioners, Assistant Municipal Commissioners.

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April 27, 2016  *Earth Month – Continued*

The American Library Mumbai in collaboration with the Acharya Marathe Junior college organized a screening of the documentary ‘Racing to Zero, in pursuit of zero waste’ that highlighted the importance of managing urban waste and conserving environment. Following the film screening, a young ‘ecopreneur’ led a discussion on ‘urban farming’ and how individuals can contribute to conserve the environment. A group of about 70 students and 5 faculty members participated in this lively discussion and learned ways and means to a healthy and clean environment.