The Story of Lumshnong by Aarti Srivastava highlights ‘mindless’ limestone mining by cement companies. Lumshnong is a village situated in the Jaintia Hills district of Meghalaya, India, which is rich in reserves of limestone. These rich reserves of limestone have attracted cement companies to set up their plants in the village, thus creating a hazardous environment for the local population. The documentary talks about “unthinkable stupidity of the cement companies”. There are as many as eight cement plants in a radius of just five kilometres in Lumshnong village. Limestone mining, as claimed in the documentary, has turned the Lumshnong village into a “dusty, waterless and barren” piece of land. “Studies revealed that loss of forest cover, pollution of water, soil and air, depletion of natural flora and fauna, reduction in biodiversity, erosion of soil, and degradation of agriculture land are some are some of the hazards of limestone mining,” the makers of the documentary stated. They added: “The hazards will not just be limited to the areas around the mines and cement factories but will spill to other regions if environmental checks are not put in place. It will also affect the lives of the people who live around the area.” The visuals of cement plants in the foreground, while the vegetations begins to look grey, and locals pointing at the shortcomings of limestone mining paint a sordid and truthful picture of what is happening in Lumshnong.
Aarti Shrivastava is a national award-winning documentary filmmaker and Asia 21 leader based in Chennai. She has been an executive producer on films like ‘Kick’ and was also associated with films like My Name Is Khan, Kambakkht Ishq to name a few. She is currently busy directing west indies cricketer Dwayne Bravo in her upcoming film ‘Men Take Lead’ and is simultaneously writing her first commercial film on women empowerment to be played by a leading female artist from south. She started her journey as a bollywood show anchor and producer with CNBC TV 18 and has been a jury member on various national and international film festivals including the Prestigious National Film Awards, International Film Festival of India (Goa). Besides managing her media production company, she has produced and directed many environmental films which has brought grassroots level change in the society. These films not only did well in the international and national film festival circuit but also pushed the policy & decision makers to make policies which benefitted Indian forests and biodiversity. She has studied social entrepreneurship from Stanford University in the USA. Passionate about environmental filmmaking and cinema which brings social change in the society.