Saturday, July 23, 2016

Discovery Channel to tell a gripping tale of Survival and Hope

Mumbai deluge in 2005, Uttarakhand floods in 2013, Kashmir floods in 2014 -- in the last decade, India has been hit by extreme weather incidents repeatedly. Each time millions of people have been affected, with economic losses running into hundreds of crores. In the winter of 2015, disaster hit the capital of Tamil Nadu. In less than a week Chennai received its highest rainfall, beating the last 100 years’ records. The fallout was catastrophic.

Discovery Channel goes beyond the breaking news and headlines to uncover true stories of hope and survival.  Premiering on Monday, 1st August at 9 pm, Discovery Channel’s one-hour special Chennai: Surviving The Flood looks back at the days and events leading up to the disaster and its immediate aftermath. Expert opinion and on-ground assessment uncover the hard truths. But this is essentially a story of the triumph of the human spirit and of unsung heroes, who rose to help fellow citizens, becoming shining examples in the city’s darkest hour.

Using real footage of the floods, first-hand accounts of survivors and dramatic recreations of true events, Chennai: Surviving The Flood is a compelling story of rising from the depths of despair. It is also a cautionary tale.

The film includes the research and views of several experts - Professor Janakarajan Srinivasan, a hydrology and water management expert, Nityanand Jayaraman, an activist and columnist, and Vikram Kapur, Commissioner, Corporation of Chennai.  Using high quality graphics, the film illustrates how various factors combined with the heavy rains to result in the unprecedented disaster.

The film also chronicles the rescue and relief operations and assistance offered by government and allied agencies, including the Indian Air Force, National Disaster Response Force Teams, and instances of the heroism of individuals.

The film also features Squadron Leader Venkatramanan and Wing Commander Charles Simon, who saved lives and pulled off successful helicopter sorties, including one that saved a pregnant woman, just hours away from labour.  The film also draws attention to the exemplary assistance extended by people like Shaukat Jamal, owner of an ocean sports company, who pedaled his boat through flooded streets of Chennai to save a stranded family with an infant.

With this year’s Monsoon wreaking havoc in several parts of the country, this film about Chennai’s floods and the human stories therein has continuing relevance.  Chennai is picking up the pieces and rebuilding fast, but the big question remains: have lessons been learned? Discovery Channel presents a story of nature’s destructive fury and humankind’s ability to beat the extreme the odds and survive in Chennai: Surviving The Flood, premiering Monday, 1st August at 9 PM on Discovery Channel, Discovery Tamil and Discovery HD World.

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