List of 11 famous environmentalists in India

Famous environmentalists in India: World Environment Day is celebrated on June 5 every year, since 1973. It is considered the largest secular holiday worldwide. Our planet, Mother Earth, is a wonderful place to live, but it needs our help to thrive! Every year, Environment Day is observed by more than a billion people to protect the planet from problems such as pollution and deforestation. By doing certain activities like picking up trash and planting trees, we can make our world a happier, healthier place to live.

This year’s World Environment Day theme will focus on solutions to plastic pollution in the #BeatPlasticPollution campaign. Environmentalists not only from India but across the world are working and motivating people through various platforms, spreading awareness about climate change etc. and helping the public to take decisions about the use of plastic. They produce various reports, research, write articles, lectures, campaigns, etc. So, an environmentalist is someone who is concerned and advocates for the protection of the environment.

Here, we are introducing some of the famous environmentalists in India who have contributed significantly in bringing about certain changes, paving the way for environmental protection, quality improvement environmental quality and also culminates in improving the relationship between humans and nature.

List of 11 famous environmentalists in India

1. Sunderlal Bahuguna

He was born on January 9, 1927, near Tehri, Uttarakhand, British India. He is an Indian environmentalist and leader of the Chipko movement. He fought for forest conservation in the Himalayas. In 1970, he first fought as a member of the Chipko movement and later led the anti-Tehri Dam movement from the 1980s to early 2004. It can be said that he was one of the defenders first environment in India. An environmental activist and ardent defender of the Himalayan people and India’s rivers, he also worked to improve the plight of the hill people, mainly working women. He was also associated with peaceful movements and, before that, the struggle against caste discrimination. He passed away on May 21, 2021 in Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India.

2. Salim Ali or Salim Moizuddin Abdul Ali.

He was born on November 12, 1896 in Bombay Presidency, British India. He is also known as the “Birdman of India”. He was an Indian ornithologist and naturalist. He was also the first Indian to conduct systematic bird surveys across India and wrote many books on birds to popularize ornithology in India. He played an important role in the establishment of the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary (Keoladeo National Park). He also prevented the destruction of what is now Silent Valley National Park. In 1976, he was awarded the Padma Vibhushan and in 1958, the Padma Bhushan. He is a leading conservation scientist and has also influenced environmental policies in our country. He died on June 20, 1987 in Bombay, Maharashtra, India.

3. SP Godrej or Sohrab Pirojsha Godrej

He was born on June 3, 1912 in Bombay Presidency, British India. Popularly, he is known as Soli. He is an Indian businessman, entrepreneur, environmentalist, philanthropist and chairman of Godrej Industries. He has been associated with several organizations committed to the conservation of nature, wildlife and the environment as Honorary President of the World Wide Fund for Nature-India. He was also president of the Bombay Natural History Society, president of the National Friends of Trees Association and patron of the Indian Family Planning Association. He is also a member of the executive board of the Population Foundation of India among others. He has received many awards, including the Indira Gandhi Pariyavaran Puraskar in 1991.

4. MS Swaminathan or Monkombu Sambasivan Swaminathan

He was born on August 7, 1925 in Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu, India. He was an Indian agricultural scientist, plant geneticist, agronomist, administrator and humanitarian. He is famous for his leadership role in India’s “Green Revolution”. This is a program in which high-yielding wheat and rice varieties are grown in the fields of poor farmers.

He also helped introduce semi-dwarf Mexican wheat crops to Indian fields and also helped bring about greater acceptance of modern farming methods. He was also director general of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research from 1972 to 1979. From 1979 to 1980, he was principal secretary of the Indian Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation. He was director general of the International Rice Research Institute (1982–88) and also president of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (1984–90).

5. Rajendra Singh

He was born on August 6, 1959. He is a famous water conservationist and environmentalist from Alwar district, Rajasthan (India). Widely known as “The Waterman of India”. In 2001, he won the Ramon Magsaysay Award for community leadership and for his pioneering work in community-based efforts in water harvesting and water management.

6. Jadav Payeng

He was born in 1963 in Assam, India. He is an environmentalist and forestry worker from Majuli. Known by everyone as “The Indian Forest Man”. For decades, he planted and cared for trees on the Brahmaputra river sandbanks, which became a forest reserve. The name of the forest is Molai Forest, preserved in his name and located near Kokilamukh in Jorhat, Assam, India. The forest covers an area of ​​about 1,360 acres. He was honored with the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award in India, in 2015.

7. Sumaira Abdulali

She was born in May 1961 in Mumbai, India. She is an environmentalist focusing on sand mining and noise pollution. She founded an NGO called Awaaz Foundation. She is also the convener of the Movement Against Intimidation, Intimidation and Retaliation Activities (MITR). She also remains co-chair of the Conservation Subcommittee and honorary secretary of Asia’s oldest and largest environmental NGO, the Bombay Natural History Society.

She helped bring sand mining to world attention by participating in documentaries and awareness campaigns. In addition, contributes to print, radio and television news. She participated in the first Roundtable of the GRID-Geneva Unified Environmental Programme. She provided input in her first report, “Sand and Sustainability: Finding New Solutions for Environmental Management of Global Sand Resources.” Her work was featured in the final report published in May 2019.

8. Medha Patkar

She was born in December 1954 in Bombay (now Mumbai), Maharashtra, India. She is an Indian social activist and one of the environmentalists famous for her role in Narmada Bachao Andolan. She also launched the “Sutlej Bachao, Punjab Bachao” campaign in Ludhiana. She once said that they are making efforts to protect Narmada because they consider it their mother. Additionally, the Sutlej River in Punjab deserves the same level of respect and protection as it is also a source of drinking water for millions of people. She is also an advocate of human rights and founded her campaigns on two fundamental tenets of the Indian constitution: the right to life and the right to livelihood.

9. Marimuthu Yoganathan

He was born in 1969 and is known by many people as the Tree Man of India. He is an Indian environmental activist. He was a bus conductor for the Tamilnadu State Transport Corporation and was known as an eco-activist. He was awarded the “Eco-Warrior” award by the Vice President of India. He also received recognition from the US-based footwear company Timberland for his outstanding achievement in planting about 120,000 saplings across the state. He also raised awareness about environmental protection among students. Yoganathan also received an award for his pet project, “UyirVaza Oru Mararn.” Accordingly, students were taught to plant a sapling on their birthday.

10. Kinkri Devi

She is an inimitable voice in environmental activism. How can we forget her? She is a brave Dalit activist and environmentalist. She fought against the powerful mining mafia in Himachal Pradesh. Despite all the odds, she fought and her work was brought into the limelight. She cannot read or write but has built a reputation for herself through her work and dedication to environmental protection.

11. Mike Pandey

Indian filmmaker Mike H. Pandey is known for his work in environmental and wildlife documentaries. He has worked to protect and conserve important species such as whale sharks, elephants, tigers, vultures and horseshoe crabs. For his efforts to raise awareness about biodiversity and species conservation, he has received more than 300 awards.

He won the Wildscreen Panda Award, commonly known as the Green Oscar, in 1994 for the film The Last Migration – Wild Elephant Capture in Surguja, making him the first Asian producer and filmmaker to do so. This. Then, his 2000 film Shores of Silence: Whale Sharks in India earned him his second Green Oscar.

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