Profiling Karnataka’s Selfless Nature-Water Activists

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Several persons are working selflessly for conserving our environment and water bodies. In this page, we have profiled a few prominent water and environmental activists and writers.

Saalumarada Thimmakka is a native of Hulikal village in the Magadi taluk of Ramanagar district. She is an environmentalist, noted for her work in planting and tending to 384 banyan trees along a four-kilometre stretch of highway between Hulikal and Kudur. Her work has been honoured with the National Citizen’s Award of India.

A U.S. environmental organisation based in Los Angeles and Oakland, California called Thimmakka’s Resources for Environmental Education is named after her.

In 2016, Saalumarada Thimmakka was listed by British Broadcasting Corporation as one of the most influential and inspiration women of the world.

  Ayyappa Masagi was born in a small village in Gadag district, Karnataka, Ayyappa Masagi is considered as the “Water Warrior”. As a child, he witness acute water shortage and used to walk miles to fetch water with his mother. His determination for water conservation started because of these experiences of facing water shortage. After graduating as an engineer, he worked for Larsen and Toubro for 23 years as mechanical engineer. Thereafter, he quit his job and started working on water conservation for the communities that were facing water shortage.

He has written a book “Bhageeratha: War on Water Crisis, Converting Dry Land into Wet Land” which is based on his experiences in life. He has created an organisation by name “Water Literacy Foundation and Rain Water Concepts Pvt Ltd” for carrying out his work.

  Shivananda Kalave was born in a village named Kalave in Shirasi. He is well known for his agriculture and environmental activities in his area. He has been working on documenting the environmental knowledge available with the forest people and folklore. He has been writing columns for the past two decades. He is actively involved in conserving forest, building ponds and other environmental activities.  He has set up “Kanmane Nisarga Jnana Kendra” which spreads the knowledge of environmental conservation to people.

He has built several ponds as per the specifications of Kadamba style. He has been giving presentation on water conservation and allied activities to the people of Karnataka. He has written more than 20 articles on environmental issues. He has got award from Karnataka Sahitya Academy in the year 2010. He is the recipient of Rajyothsava Award from Govt of Karnataka. He was honoured as “Suvarna News Asaamaanya Kannadiga” in the year 2016.

  Nagesh Hegde was born in a village named Bakkemane in North Canara District of Karnataka. He completed his M.Sc from IIT, Kharagpur. He later pursued his M.Phil from the prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He worked as Assistant Professor of Environment Geology in Nainital. He has worked with the Prajavani-Deccan Herald group and has been contributing articles relating to science and environment for Prajavani. He has authored more than 30 books on science and environment in Kannada language.  He is also serving as a visiting professor at the Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media, Bangalore.
  R K Badti was Born in a village in Shimoga district, R K Badti completed his B.Com and joined the field of journalism. He experimented bringing out his own newspaper and then joined the newspaper Janavaarthe as joint editor. He later started working with Vijaya Karnataka and authored a column “Neeru Neralige” (Water for Shade) for six continuous years. For this column, he got awards from Government of Karnataka, CIDL and Indore University. He is interested in Yakshagaana and is involved in continuous learning of environmental issues. He has authored several books as well.
  Dr. Narayan Reddy is an award winning organic farmer from Bangalore. As a child, he stayed away from his parents and worked in cities. He inherited a small piece of land in the outskirts of Bangalore and decided to do farming. In the year 1980, he decided to shift to organic farming after reading some books on the subject. He has now set up a centre at Doddaballapur and trains people practically on organic farming. He has been a promoter of organic and bio-diverse farming at the international level.
  Captain Raja Rao is the chairman of Environment & Power Technologies Pvt. Ltd. He has more than 40 years of experience working on public policy related to environment and water resources. He is an expert on Krishna and Cauvery inter-state water disputes. He worked as Member Secretary of Karnataka State Pollution Control Board. He was the Director of Department of Forest, Ecology and Environment. During his tenure with the Government, he worked on water resources management, dam safety and inter-state water disputes.
  Yellappa Reddy is a Graduate in Agricultural Science and a Post Graduate in Soil Science. He is a member of the Indian Forestry Services, and has 4 decades of service in the IFS in Karnataka.  Mr. Reddy has served as Administrator of Forests for 20 years. He was also in the Research Wing of the Forestry Services for 10 years, and has also held the post of Chief Conservator, Forests. He retired as the Secretary, Department of Ecology and Environment, in Karnataka.

Mr. Reddy has written a book titled ‘Sacred Plants’ – this book is about the plants used in various rituals, and gives the logic and the aromatherapy science behind this usage. At present, Mr. Reddy is the Governing Council Member, Foundation for Ecological Security of India. He is also Member, Karnataka High Court Lok Adalat, as well as the Chief Advisor, Bangalore University Bio-diversity Park. Mr. Reddy is a very active member of Bangalore Environment Trust. He developed innovative nursery techniques, for over 150 native species of Western Ghats of India. He successfully developed and implemented innovative Eco-restoration technologies and bio-strategies for restoration of the most degraded areas of Western Ghats. He has revived areas of original native vegetation by adopting appropriate enrichment techniques.

  Ra Num Chandrashekar was born is Hassan District. Ra Num has served in the prestigious HAL for 37 years. He has been a core part of Kannada Sahitya Parishat, Kannada Shakthi Kendra, Kannada Geleyara Balaga and other prominent associations for several years. He has served in the jury panel of Karnataka Sahitya Academy and Sangolli Rayanna award.

He has authored several books like ‘Aadhunika Karnatakadha Aathankagalu’ and also helped in the editorial of many prominent books like ‘Kannada-Kannadiga-Karnataka’, ‘Kannada Kisegannadi’, to name a few. He has been an active columnist in various news dailies and magazines.

  Eshwar Prasad is an environmental activist. He was one of the main person to establish the first nature club in India. He is the convenor of Spoorthivana and secretary of Parisara. He is involved in a joint venture with Bangalore Water Supply and Sewage Board (BWSSB) to preserve the eco system for the future generations.