Aggravating the natural resources is a very necessary thing in today’s scenario as lacking in it will only increase global warming, pollution also lack of water.
A 32 year old Chennai-based environmentalist Arun Krishnamurthy, quit his job at Google and initiated an eco-movement to clean and restore 93 freshwater bodies across 14 Indian states.
Started in 2007, Environmentalist Foundation of India (EFI) , a non-profit wildlife conservation and habitat restoration group with the slogan — “Volunteer for India and her Environment with EFI” removed garbage and harmful species from these lakes and ponds, that are necessary for balancing eco- system .
From kids to environment conservation veterans, volunteer with the EFI . The organisation has been successful in clearing trash, invasive weeds, and strengthening the bunds in several water bodies including the Egatoor pond in Chennai, the Kinathukadavu system ponds, Pei Kulam at Tuticorin and others.
He started making efforts to restore water bodies in Chennai, supported by the local panchayat, and later carried on to other cities as well. The journey started from there and rest is history.
Krishnamurthy told IANS in an email interview. “We work very closely with the Centre and State governments. We do not receive any funding, but depend on the government for permissions and approvals. There is a positive trend across the country where the administration is keen on encouraging groups such as ours to mobilise community to revive freshwater lakes and ponds,”.
To make the restoration efforts fun and engaging for kids, EFI started a unique project called ‘Cyclakes’ which are weekend-based cycle tours to lakes and habitats for children to understand the important characteristics of these natural fascination .
‘Wall-E’ is another creative and interactive initiative – an awareness wall painting initiative whereby volunteers paint the public walls with information on biodiversity to encourage India’s wildlife and natural habitats. Apart from these their efforts are supported by partner organisations including The Hinduja Foundation, The Murugappa Group and Shriram Group through funds and volunteers.
Further he adds: “Convincing the local community in understanding the need for conserving the freshwater body is an interesting piece of this bigger puzzle. Once we have the local community involved, we then do not have to worry about the water body. All problems related to pollution, encroachments etc can be thus sorted out.”
The eco movement organisation also won ” The Rolex Awards for Enterprise 2012″ which supports individuals with innovative projects that improve life on the planet, expand knowledge, propose solutions to major challenges, or preserve the natural and cultural heritage for future generations.
In the cities like Chennai, Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Pune, Hyderabad, Coimbatore, Puducherry, Thiruvananthapuram, Bengaluru, Tirunelveli and Ahmedabad, the EFI is currently working on 39 active projects. It will soon start full-time operations in Vijayawada, Mysuru and Kanyakumari.
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