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.
He shares the award with Suresh Nautiyal of Uttarakhand who is among the 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 and 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, who was sentenced to ‘Kaala Paani’ jail in ho Andaman & Nicobar Islands. He was among the few freedom fighters who survived the British ruler's torture in 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: Dainik Bhaskar for their resistance against authoritarian pressure by the government agencies and 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 the Mumbai entry point.