Parshuram Mahadevji Lad
Born on December 29, 1934 in the village of KhedisawaliGarh, Betul district, Bhopal, Parshuram Lad completed his schooling in Betul and further education in Nagpur. After joining the Forest Department in 1956, he served at various forests located in the central part of India. He has contributed immensely towards securing major forests, known for inhabiting tigers, in Madhya Pradesh. Backed by solid research on birds, he has undertaken numerous initiatives for conservation of birds such asCrane (Saras), Lesser Florican (Tanmore), Vultures and The Great Indian bustard.He had the privilege to work with renowned ornithologist Dr. Salim Ali. Mr Lad is 79 at present, but his passion for traveling across India to visit sanctuaries has not diminished. Importantly, he has brought together nature lovers to voluntarily work in and around various sanctuaries in India. In the year 2000, under Mr Lad’s guidance, NisargSanrakshanSanstha could establish the presence of the rarely sighted species of the Forest Owlet in Melghat forests. His knowledge in the field of forest conservation comes as a big support to a large number of voluntary organizations and forest officials.
Dr. Anant Balkrishna Marathe
Dr. Anand Marathe who is Principal, HVPM Engineering College, Amravati probably inherited a strong sense of social responsibility from his freedom fighter father, the Late BalasahebMarathe. As principal of the Hanuman VyayamShala Engineering College, he took several fundamental steps to protect the environment. They related to waste management, recycling sanitary water, and planned tree plantation. Under his guidance, activities like recycling of paper, ‘no vehicle day’, ‘one student, one plant’ are carried out with great vigor. His dedicated efforts have helped students understand the importance of environment conservation.
Socially inclined since his college days, Rajendra has been playing an important role in steering the movement to save jungles in the Satpuda range. Under the SatpudaBachao (Save Satpuda) movement, he has been associated with agitations to prevent encroachments, organizing seminars and conferences, conducting studies on tigers and their abodes, tracing existence of Forest Owlet in Yaval Sanctuary, and so on. He was actively supported by his colleagues, VinodPatil and AbhayUzgare. He was conferred with many awards including ‘YuvaParyavaranPuraskar’- 2009, ‘VrukshamitraPuraskar’- 2011, and ‘VasundharaMitraPuraskar’- Nashik- 2012.
Rajashri gave up a prestigious job at world renowned advertising company- Lintas, and engaged herself in the service of environment, protection of wildlife and birds. In the year 2008, she came in contact with various forests and tribes of Vidharbha, through the Satpuda Foundation. Since last six years, she has been working as a volunteer for a unit of NisargaSanrakshanSanstha which provides health services to tribes living in Pench, Melghat, Tadoba. and some jungles in Madhya Pradesh. She has started a computer training centre for tribal children from a remote village in Pench. She has trained tribal women in tailoring and artwork; and has helped them sell their products directly in the markets of Mumbai. Their stall in Indus festival, Mumbai, is a crowd-puller. She has trained 1000 workers from various cities across India, on the topics of Forests-tribes-tigers. She works quietly towards creating opportunities for tribal men and women participating in projects for tigers.