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Siraj Syed

Siraj Syed is the India Correspondent for and a member of FIPRESCI, the International Federation of Film Critics. He is a Film Festival Correspondent since 1976, Film-critic since 1969 and a Feature-writer since 1970. 



Stars sparkle for World Environment Day in Mumbai

Aditi Govitrikar and Asif Bhamla

Stars sparkle for World Environment Day in Mumbai

Sparkles Diamond Jewellery joined hands with Bhamla Foundation to observe World Environment Day on June 05. Present on the occasion were actors Tanisha Mukerji, Sidhhant Kapoor (son of Shakti Kapoor), Aditi Govitrikar, singer composer Armaan Malik and playback singer Shaan (real-name Shantanu Mukherjee).

Shaan and Tanisha

Sparkles Diamond Jewellery is a brand of Poddar Diamonds Limited and Asif Bhamla is a popular politician, who lives in the Bandra area of Mumbai, where the celebration was held. The amphi-theatre here, a few metres from the Carter Road beach and 1.5 km from my home, has become a very popular venue for social and entertaining gatherings.

Earlier, there was a tree plantation drive undertaken, wherein 500 saplings were planted across the city. Established in 1972 by the United Nations Organisation (UNO), World Environment Day is one of the principal vehicles through which it stimulates worldwide awareness for the environment, and also encourages positive action.

Speaking on the occasion, Moneka Poddar, Director, Poddar Diamonds Limited, said, “Plastic has been around us for decades and the convenience it provides cannot be matched. It helps in cutting down wastage of food, medicine technology, packaging practices etc. But we have been unable to prevent the plastic waste from entering the ocean, where it harms the existing ecosystems of the sea creatures, flora and fauna, contaminating it and eventually entering our food chain. As a company, we at Poddar Diamonds Limited have replaced plastics all over with eco-friendly and biodegradable materials.”

According to the UNO, approximately 12 million tonnes of plastic garbage enters the waters every year. The plastic waste epidemic is evident all over the globe; animals have reportedly died after ingesting it, and it has caused damage to the soil because microscopic plastic particles have contaminated the very soil that is used to grow our foods.

Bhamla Foundation, is working towards curbing the plastic menace, keeping in line with the UNO initiative of ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’. The programme was launched at the hands of former Hon. President of India, Dr. Pranab Mukherjee.

More than 12,000 people who attended the event pledged to discard single-use plastic. Several other volunteers created messages with the aim to beat plastic and save Mother Earth. The key highlights of the event included stalls on environmental awareness and preservation, a cyclathon, free height weight and blood pressure check-ups, keynote sessions by noted environmentalists and a free tree sapling distribution drive.

Incidentally, a Shaan number about the dangers of plastic is doing the rounds. It says in Hindi that “tic tic tic tic plastic tic na paaye re”, meaning plastic will not win. And guess who has joined him in this duet? Master choreographer, Shiamak Davar!

Sidhhant, Playing Pogo

Mocktailswere on the house, and cartoon characters from TV channels were mingling with the attendees, but the audience had to wait almost an hour and a quarter for the proceedings to begin. And then compère Meraj was let loose on us. He talked non-stop (on the top of his voice, into a lapel microphone; making me wonder whether lapel microphones are really that gain friendly), as if there was no tomorrow, till actress/compère Ruby Bhatia joined him on stage, to share the duties.

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About Siraj Syed

Syed Siraj
(Siraj Associates)

Siraj Syed is a film-critic since 1970 and a Former President of the Freelance Film Journalists' Combine of India.

He is the India Correspondent of and a member of FIPRESCI, the international Federation of Film Critics, Munich, Germany

Siraj Syed has contributed over 1,015 articles on cinema, international film festivals, conventions, exhibitions, etc., most recently, at IFFI (Goa), MIFF (Mumbai), MFF/MAMI (Mumbai) and CommunicAsia (Singapore). He often edits film festival daily bulletins.

He is also an actor and a dubbing artiste. Further, he has been teaching media, acting and dubbing at over 30 institutes in India and Singapore, since 1984.

Bandra West, Mumbai


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