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IN AN appeal to save the planet, law students of the Delhi-based Centre for Environmental Law enacted Vasundhra (Earth), at their convocation ceremony. The play, directed by Amitava Dasgupta, was a hit with the audience.
A woman in AD 2225 travels back in time to find a tree for her daughter. She lands in our present and is confronted with the question of who owns the forests. The tribals appear to own the forest, but the land gets notified as a sanctuary and they are barred from using its produce. Subsequently, a firm interested in aquaculture uses its clout with the district forest officer and the minister to get the forest denotified.
The tribals and the acquaculturists then fight over a fish, which settles the dispute by claiming rights to the forest. The play ends on a compelling note to "act now" to save the forests.
The complicity of the forest officials and the politicians with the poachers and business houses, and the loopholes in the environmental laws were brought out very strongly in the skit. Although written and enacted by amateurs, the play was entertaining.