National Geographic channel is on a journey to explore the Indian panorama more intensely. After Indian documentaries increasingly capturing eyeballs, especially post Leopards of Bollywood, the channel is now planning to air a series on vultures that are on the verge of extinction. The series called 'Vultures: Death Watch' is going to be aired from March 26.
Interestingly, the film has been scripted in a way that the cultural context has been embedded in it. The storyline sensitively unfolds the reasons for extinction of three species of Vultures in Asia and weaves it into the Indian scenario by blending it with the Parsi tradition of leaving the dead on the Tower of Silence to be fed by the vultures. "The script revolves around two ideas - one is the extinction of the species per say and the other is the negative population growth of Parsis who are affected by the vultures getting extinct," said Nikhil Alva, CEO, Miditech, the production house that scripted the film for the channel.
Television personality Cyrus Broacha, who is a parsi, takes you through the film and adds the emotional quotient, by narrating his experiences on how Parsi funerals get affected by the extinction of vultures. Charath Narsimhan, VP - Marketing, National Geographic, said, "National Geographic has been consistently focusing on environment issues and the channel is continuing its tradition of airing documentaries revolving around these concerns. There has been a 95 per cent reduction of three species of vultures and this certainly calls for attention."
Narsimhan said that documentaries as a genre is certainly looking up. "We will be airing more such series in this year. The next on the line is also commissioned to Miditech and is going to revolve around the theme of witchcraft," he said.
The film has cited various reasons as the possible reasons for extinction. Drug named Diclofenac is suspected o be one of them. Alva said that the issue has been brought to the notice of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the action is anticipated. "Every clipping in the film has been backed with data and research. The film's inception took place nearly two years back and the research has been on till the final take," he said. Asked if the production house will explore this theme further, he said, "Certainly, a lot of questions remain unanswered and the exploration is likely to continue. We may take it up in another film."