"Beerappa's Tallanna" being screened at National Institute for Advanced Studies

A film conceptualised by Bhargavi S. Rao and Leo F. Saldanha for Amrit Mahal Hitarakshana aagu Horata Samithi

7 March, 2018

NIAS Invitation Beerappa Film


National Institute of Advanced Studies  

Indian Institute of Science Campus, Bengaluru 560 012  


Urban and Mobility Studies Programme   



City at its Limits  


invites you to a screening of the film   


Beerappa's Angst  

a film conceptualized by Leo F. Saldanha and Bhargavi Rao  


The film will be introduced by Leo F. Saldanha and an open discussion will follow the screening  



Date:               Wednesday, 7th March 2018  

Time:               4:00 PM (Coffee/Tea at 3.30 PM)  

Venue:             Lecture Hall, NIAS  



Abstract:   This film, conceptualised by Bhargavi S Rao and Leo F. Saldanha, problematises the building of a massive military-industrial-nuclear-complex in Challakere, Chitradurga, 250 kms north of Bangalore, that is displacing over 300,000 people and about 250,000 livestock without public debate.  Based on interviews with communities impacted by these ongoing developments, and also extensive evidence gathered in the process of challenging the projects in the National Green Tribunal, the film discusses the environmental and social impacts, and also risk assessments, of building such sensitive facilities in ecologically sensitive and socio-economically supportive Amrit Mahal Kaval grasslands of Challakere.  


The film has been produced by Amrit Mahal Kaval Hitarakshana Haagu Horata Samithi.  


About the Presenter: Leo F. Saldanha is full-time Coordinator of Environment Support Group, Bengaluru. He has gained wide-ranging experience in the areas of Environmental Law and Policy, Decentralization, Urban Planning and a variety of Human Rights and Development related issues, working across many sectors for over a decade. He is a keen campaigner on critical environmental and social justice issues and has guided several campaigns demanding evolution of progressive laws and effective action. He has creatively supported various distressed communities to secure justice through public interest litigations and advocacy efforts, arguing as party in person several public interest litigations, many of which have resulted in remarkable judgments.  


* * * * * * * *  


All are cordially invited  



For further information, please contact. Dr. Hemangini Gupta <NIASurban@gmail.com>  

K S Rama Krishna

N.I.A.S., IISc. Campus

Bengaluru 560 012  

Ph; 080 2218 5000  





Earlier accoloades for this film....




Kirloskar Vasundhara Film Festival


Woodpecker Film Festival


"Beerappa's Angst" (Detail at: http://esgindia.org/…/amrit-mahal-kaval-hitarakshana-horata…), a short documentary which Bhargavi Rao and Leo Saldanha conceptualised and helped make, with support from Ashok Maridas and Gopi, for Amrit Mahal Hitarakshana aagu Horata Samithi, was screened on 6th Jan 2018 at Kirloskar Vasundhara Film Festival in Pune and during November 2017 at the Woodpecker International Film Festival at Siri Fort, New Delhi. Details: http://kirloskarvasundharafest.in and http://www.woodpeckerfilmfestival.in. 


This film was put together with very little money (~Rs. 50000/-) and is an effort to draw attention of the wide public to the precarious situation of the pastoral, nomadic and agrarian communities in-directly displaced due to ongoing diversion of the Amritmahal Kaval Grasslands in Challakere Chitradurga for a massive military-industrial-nuclear-energy complex.


Communities who have protected these biodiversity-rich grassland ecosystems for centuries are being displaced systematically.  About 300000 people and their livestock (approx. 250000) are struggling to survive as the Kavals, which are the foundation of their existence, and which they have protected for centuries, is now out of bounds to them.   Consequently, there is massive distress of nutritional, socio-economic and water security, and widespread joblessness. The Amrit Mahal Kaval and such other semi-arid grasslands form a habitat critical for the survival of critially endangered Great Indian Bustard, Indian Wolf, Black Buck, etc.    


Mainstream media, academia and large sections of civil society is wary about addressing the sufferings and struggles of the 'science city' impacted communities as it is perceived as 'anti-establishment'. We believe it is the responsibility of media, academia and civil society to focus attention on the struggles of these impacted communities, and the consequent destruction of an ecologically rich arid grassland ecosystems. In this manner, the political and adminstrative machinery of the country can be sensitised to the fact that such projects are fraught with risks which are deliberately ignored, as is reflected in the 'science city' project. The film is a small effort in ensuring we all are concerned about addressing these concerns without fear.