Hon. K. MANU
An engineering graduate in Electrical & Electronics from JCE College Mysore, Mr. Manu is a champion of wildlife and nature. With the help of close friends and supporters, he started an organisation called Mysore Amateur Naturalists or MAN. In Kokkare Bellur, MAN’s dedicated efforts towards the protection of Spot-billed Pelican, their nests and chicks yielded an excellent result. The Pelican nursery helped feed the orphaned Pelican chicks with fish and also helped them grow healthily. Kokkare Bellur is now one of the 5 most important Pelican nesting sites in India. He formed an organization called Hejjarle Balaga (The Pelican Clan) in 1994 involving local youth to take care of conservation of Pelicans. Interestingly, all these efforts are also resulting in a higher fish catch for small-scale local fishermen around Kokkare Bellur.
Hon. Santosh Martin
Santosh Martin is the Executive Trustee of Sloth Bear Foundation, Bellary Environment and Wildlife Foundation. Wildlife has been his passion since childhood and he has always wanted to contribute towards the same. He is the current Honorary Wildlife Warden of Bellary district. He is responsible for the rediscovery of the Great Indian Bustards in Karnataka and along with his co-naturalist Samadand, put it back on the Bustard Map of Karnataka. He is responsible for the conservation of the Sangankallu hills, a Neolithic site near Bellary. He was a part of a prehistoric archaeological program, which excavated the Paleolithic site in Jwalapuram (Andhra Pradesh) along with many Archaeologists and Paleo-anthropologists across the world. He is also setting up a dedicated pre-historic museum in Bellary in collaboration with the district administration.
Hon. I Ravindranath
Mr. Ravindranath is currently the Range Forest Officer of Daroji Bear Sanctuary. He served as a Forester in Bellary city and also planted thousands of trees along the roads there. Till 1996, he evicted 3,500 acres of encroached forestland in Harapanahalli taluk and afforested the entire area. He also served as the Range Forest Officer in Hadagali taluk for 10 years and evicted 2,500 acres of encroached forestland there. After taking charge of the Daroji Bear Sanctuary, he included 500 acres of forestland into the sanctuary limits. He formed 20 eco-development committees, installed solar street lights in the surrounding villages, provided LPG gas connections to villagers, vaccinated the cattle and sheep in the surrounding villages and played a potential role in preventing ritual hunting in Hampi vicinity.