Environmentalist and media veteran B N Kumar has been nominated for the ‘Revolutionary Comrade Shiv Varma Media Award 2022-23’, instituted by not-for-profit People’s Mission.
An Osmania University alumnus Kumar, director of NatConnect Foundation, gets the award for his writings and contribution to the field of environmental protection. He shares the award with Suresh Nautiyal of Uttarakhand who is among founders of the India Greens Party, registered with the Election Commission of India.
People’s Mission is a Companies Act-registered outfit with professionals such as doctors, literati, journalists, economists, agriculture and environment specialists, trade union workers and book publishers and distributors on its board of directors.
The organisation set up the awards in memory of Shiv Verma (1907-1997), an associate of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, was sentenced to ‘Kaala Paani’ jail at Andaman & Nicobar Islands. He was among the few freedom fighters who survived the British rulers torture in the jail.
Acknowledging the Award intimation, Kumar said he dedicates it to the teams of fellow environment crusaders such as Nandakumar Pawar, Sunil Agrawal, Nareshchandra Singh and Jyoti Nadkarni. “We have miles to go, but together we shall succeed in spreading public awareness about the continuous assault on the environment by various authorities,” he said.
The awards will be presented on Independence Day next year. The People’s Mission Award winners for the last year included: Danik Bhaskar for its resistance against authoritarian pressure by the government agencies Indian photojournalist Danish Siddiqui who was killed in Afghanistan by right reactionary Taliban forces.
Kumar floated environment-focused not-for-profit company NatConnect Foundation and masterminded #MissionMumbaiLocal focusing on the woes of suburban commuters, #SaveParsikHills on the need to stop the highly polluting stone quarrying in the heart of Navi Mumbai and save the hills and #SaveMMRbiodiversity highlighting the destruction of mangroves and wetlands. The authorities took cognisance and filed FIRs in at least three cases. In association with Mumbai Press Club, BNK and NatConnect launched drives such as #OurCityOurDuty. On civic issues his creative campaign #SarUthakeThuko has garnered eyeballs across the nation.
He recently floated another platform ACT – Alert Citizens’ Team – to work on civic issues. #ScrapVashiTollNaka is his latest campaign to highlight the unending traffic jams running up to 20 minutes at Mumbai entry point.