“Laila Gold” captures rural efforts to transform waste into wealth in a Dakshina Kannada village.

This award winning short-film shows how a Karnataka village is turning waste into wealthScreenshot
news Sustainable Development Tuesday, December 13, 2016 - 14:08

Niranjan Vanalli, a professor of journalism, author and senior feature writer in Kannada, recently won a national award for his short film “Laila Gold” which captures rural efforts to transform waste into wealth in a Dakshina Kannada village.

“We never thought we would win a prize. We had done our duty and I had personally forgotten about this competition as I took charge as the Registrar of a state university,” Prof. Vanalli says.

The 180-second film was adjudged the best out of 510 entries received by the Ministry of Panchayat Raj.

“Laila Gold” is named after a rural project in Laila village, in Belthangady taluk under the Dakshina Kannada Zilla Panchayat, which turns waste collected from the entire village into fertile manure thereby making non-degradable solid-waste into a commodity for sale.

It thus, paves a way to earn profit from waste and making the rural community more self-sufficient.

Suggesting that this has the potential to become a model for the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Prof. Vanalli says, “Laila Gold not only turns the waste to wealth, it makes the village neat and clean. Every household can boast of being a partner in this production. The manure produced has proved very useful and makes the Laila land fertile.”

Said to have implemented the rural development scheme of the Central government under MNREGA in the best possible way, the village has attained the reputation of being completely free of open defecation.

Unlike other taluks, not only has Belthangady earned laurels for cleanliness, but it has also helped the people eliminate huts to build pukka houses and aid small-scale cultivators and agricultural labourers become self-sufficient.

Commenting on the secret behind this success, Prof. Vanalli says, “Belthangady taluk is different from other taluks because all the people come together here for the developmental works forgetting their party affiliations. It is the enlightened citizens who make the difference in Dakshina Kannada in Karnataka.”

Stating that the same can be translated in an urban space, Prof. Vanalli quotes the example of Kumbarakoppal, which is a ward in Mysuru city corporation. Here as well, the power of an enlightened citizenry has changed the fortune of the area, by transforming waste into organic manure.

Owing the success of the film to his dedicated team and his journalistic skills, Prof. Vanalli, originally a print journalist signs off promising to venture more into the audio-visual space of journalism.