Uma’s story of turning a scuba diver inspired independent filmmaker Priya Thuvassery and she made a 52-minute documentary film called Coral Woman.
The film travelled across film festivals and was awarded extensively for the powerful narrative and the awareness it generated. Priya met Anupama Mandloi at Good Pitch India in March 2020 where the latter joined Priya as the Impact Producer with the specific goal of building engagement with the youth regarding the urgent need for marine conservation and coral rehabilitation.
As one of the components of their project, the team has come up with an illustrated children’s book titled Coral Woman.
“The book is the starting point of our Impact Project. Coral Woman is an illustrated children’s book aimed at spreading awareness about the importance of coral reefs and the very real danger they face, by supporting the marine ecosystem and creating awareness among young stakeholders of our planet - children. Coral Woman was conceptualised around filmmaker Priya Thuvassery’s short film by the same name and is the story of Uma Mani - a story that is as inspiring as the lady herself. It is about a 50-year-old homemaker finding the courage to do something as unexpected and intimidating as diving into the deep seas to see the corals that fascinate her. It is also the most timely story of India’s coral reefs and the urgent need to preserve them, their impact on marine life and the coastal communities that they shelter,” Anupama Mandloi tells DT Next. The book has been authored by Lubaina Bandukwala and the illustration is done by Sanket Pethkar. The book will be officially released on October 29.