Sport and heritage will be brought together in wondrous ways as France formally becomes the host nation of the next Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games (the Games of the 33rd Olympiad)
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“You can't protect something that you don't love and you can't love something that you don't know exists,” says Shaunak Modi from Coastal Conservation Foundation while talking to Indian journalist and writer Raghu Karnad, which aptly sums up the dilemma many Indian cities are going through – the dilemma of aligning a city’s ecology with material development.
Last few days of strong onshore winds have brought our yearly monsoon visitors back to our shores. Thousands of Portuguese man o' war have stranded at Juhu beach today. pic.twitter.com/ownlWxDJvA— Shaunak Modi (@Pugdandee) July 29, 2021
A new podcast called ‘Marine Lines: Mumbai's Hidden Worlds, from the Suburbs to the Sea’ is therefore trying to reach out to the citizens through a series of humorous, engaging and thought provoking interviews exploring the city's ecosystem and ecology with renowned guests ranging from Bollywood stars and artists to climate activists and marine life conservation experts.
The podcast is co-created by Ministry of Mumbai’s Magic and DeadAnt Studio and is hosted by Indian journalist and writer Raghu Karnad.
It was in the first episode titled ‘Sharks, Sea Slugs and Other Neighbours’, where Shaunak Modi aptly sums up the situation. The episode discusses the plethora of species that reside amongst the 20 million human inhabitants of the city. According to Modi, so many of us travel to see marine life but don’t realise you can spot a whale or an octopus on our doorstep.
The Pride of Bombay— Nature inFocus (@NatureIn_Focus) November 29, 2018
The Bombayana Slug is a bright coloured, blue-bordered #seaslug that was described from #Bombay in 1946. Since then, there has been no public record of its sighting – making this the very first in 72 years.
The image was captured by Prathamesh Khedwan. pic.twitter.com/CkUlXDxk6k
The podcast explores different aspects of Mumbai, highlighting the city’s engagement with wildlife, secret corners, and the challenges ahead. From sharing interactions between leopards and domestic pets; the important role parks serve in providing a space for human intimacy; examining the future for the city's fisherman; or asking what the Bombay Slug is, the series aims to focus on the city's incredible ecosystem and contemplates the future.
Other key guests featured are actor Dia Mirza, with whom Karnad explores the importance of sustainable living. Author, journalist and film critic Anupama Chopra discusses how the city's coastline is represented on film. Artist Sameer Kulavoor talks about how we see the city, the different parts of the city and how they can inspire creativity. And Amitav Ghosh asks what is next, how climate change is affecting the city, the impact of cyclones and what will happen when ‘the big one’ finally comes.
Sanjay Gandhi National Park:— Environment and Ecology for UPSC (@EnvirForUPSC) July 30, 2021
1. It was earlier known as Krishnagiri National Park.
2. It is part of the Western Ghats biodiversity, forming roughly 20 percent of Mumbai’s geographical area. pic.twitter.com/LWVSR8Zw6M
Alongside examining what the city has to offer and how we can help support the natural environment, the podcast also opens a conversation on the mental impact our environment has on us as inhabitants. Can a city grow without becoming psychologically difficult for its people?
According to Arpita Bhagat, Campaign Lead, MMM, "The podcast is an attempt to capture a microcosm of Mumbai. Each episode explores different facets of our colorful city. The glamorous town of Bollywood, an island with rich biodiversity, India's city of opportunities, a safe haven for women, a chaotic metropolis, India’s pop culture hotspot, a city of dons and rebels, city of resilience and lastly, a city extremely vulnerable to climate change impacts.”
According to Ravina Rawal, Founder and Editor, DeadAnt Studio, “These conversations threw open so many different ways of looking at Mumbai, and how much we may have missed. What is the Bombay Slug? How do love, sex and desire exist in the city? How do leopards survive? Mumbai as a character in the movies. Do we have eco-anxiety? Will the fishermen survive? Why are we so unprepared for cyclones? My hope is that through this podcast, you’ll discover how much there is to love and protect in Mumbai.”
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The podcast is a part of a series of programmes conceptualised by Ministry of Mumbai’s Magic to create a conversation around Mumbai’s rich wetlands and drive citizen action in favour of Mumbai’s rich biodiversity. The programmes include Harita the Green Footprint fellowship for the youth to champion solutions for the city's public parks, a podcast to build a healthy climate discourse in the city, a series of creative tactics that bring attention to Koli community’s role as caretakers of the city's coastline.
According to a release, MMM will pilot a hyperlocal initiative that creates a people’s biodiversity register for Bhandup Pumping station by engaging local communities to deliver it to the decision makers. MMM has also launched a virtual gallery of artworks submitted to their project ‘Make Art for Mumbai’s Mangroves’ to raise awareness about Mumbai’s unique green ecosystems.
The podcast, launched in early July, is available on all key platforms including @spotify, @amazonmusic, @gaana, @hubhopperofficial.
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