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Marusthal par vijay Haryana Forest Department 42.25 min

By Seema Kalra
Published: Wednesday 15 March 1995

Desert gorse bushes: index of< THE sight of young forests in a dry desert is a breathtaking sight. Marusthal par vijay is the story of the Haryana Forest Department's afforestation efforts to block the sinister advance of the Thar desert. The film shows how Hissar in Haryana and Jodhpur in Rajasthan sandbag off the assaults.

The superb geometrical precision of sand dunes and their unerring beauty have always caught the fancy of filmmakers, who have romanticised them beyond description. On the distaff side of celluloid, the desert is a killer, a land of unrelenting inhospitability where human fatigue and frustration are gravestones dotting its expanse, an index of awesome suffering.

There is evidence to suggest that during the Mohenjodaro and Harappan period, the same land was devoid of vegetation. The river Saraswati is said to have once flowed through the region which climatic changes over the centuries frazzled into a desert. That very land is now extending its turf, foot by creeping foot. It's cause for concern, and requires urgent remedial action.

The movie shows how planting castor seeds and tufts of Erianthus munja between the rows of plants to arrest the sand movements could work. The results of these efforts are apparent from the footage -- but the commentary goes Over the Top, probably because the forest department has few chances to beat its own drum. True to Indian romanticism, the narration is pretty dramatic and poetic, at least in the beginning. Then the forest makes brutalises it all.

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