Horrific memories of the devastating Panshet dam burst and floods in the city on July 12, 1961, still haunt the older generation, which witnessed the unfortunate incident.
A group of youngsters will salute the indomitable spirit of the citizens, who survived the devastation, with an audio-visual programme, ‘12 July 1961, Pralay, Pratyay’.
The event, produced by Athang Creation, will be held at Balgandharva on July 12 at 5.30 pm. The programme is free and open to all.
The event was conceptualised by Mohit Gogate, who runs Athang Creation. He, along with his friends Charudatta Kulkarni, Adwait Kulkarni, Nikhil Talegaonkar, Suneet Wadke, Nitesh Rathod, Sachin Chandane, Harshad Muzumdar, Priyanka Nadgauda, Sonal Kulkarni and Chaitanya Kapade interviewed about 150 people affected by the flood for the audio-visual programme.
They collected related reports, photographs and documentaries related to the flood. “We had been listening to stories of the flood since childhood. It changed the history and geography of Pune,” said Nikhil Tadegaonkar.
“The affected were very ordinary people, who showed extraordinary strength and reconstructed the devastated city. The people did not wait for government aid, but helped themselves and others to stand up again. The programme aims at acknowledging their efforts and spirit,” he added.
“We marvelled at the courage of every person we interviewed who faced the flood. So many saw their houses being swept away, their precious belongings were gone, and they had to start life all over again,” said Mohit.
In the interviews, people have narrated how those who were less affected helped out those who had lost everything. Every interview is touching. Sanjay Mungale narrates how they saw their newly-purchased house being swept away.
Anand Vartak shared how the people struggled to get drinking water after the flood. “Ours was the only family which had a water pump during those days. So we let the people use it for drinking water,” he said.
It is to inform the younger generation about the magnitude of the incident and the way people fought it that this group of friends started working on the project in February this year. They got hold of every detail they could get about the flood.
The programme comprises recorded interviews, visuals of old photographs of flood, documentaries procured from the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII). The devastation and the reconstruction will be projected.
Well-known compere Sudhir Gadgil will conduct the programme. Famous music composer Kaushal Inamdar will give the background music. He will also present a poem Muthe, Lokmate by Kavi Yashwant in his unique style.