Vasundhara Honours

Maruti Chitampalli (‘Lifetime Achievement’)

He is a wildlife conservationist and Marathi writer. He got training from State Forest Service College in Coimbatore. After completing his training, he joined the services with Maharashtra State government. During his professional life, he was posted at various forests and national parks, having live experiences with various entities. This laid the foundation of his interest in writing his literary works. He retired as the Deputy Chief Conservator of Forests. He was instrumental in the development of Karnala Bird Sanctuary, Navegaon National Park, Nagzira Sanctuary and Melghat Tiger Project; also constructing for displaced wildlife at the last two institutions.

Vasundhara Sanman

M.K. Ranjitsinh (‘Vasundhara Sanman’)

For over half a century, this cultured visionary has walked India’s wilds, drafted ground-breaking policies, catalysed action for lesser-known endangered species and initiated pioneering conservation projects. A scion of the erstwhile royal family of Wankaner in Saurashtra, Gujarat, He was recruited into the Indian Administrative Service in 1961. As Deputy Secretary, Forests and Wildlife of the Government of India, he drafted the Wildlife (Protection) Act of 1972, a piece of legislation that is, till date, the saving grace for India’s wildlife. He was the first Director of Wildlife Preservation of India under this Act, and developed schemes to provide financial assistance to states from the Central Government to establish national parks and sanctuaries. His appointments, past and present, are quite literally too numerous to list. Currently Chairs the Board of Trustees of the WTI.

Arti Kulkarni (Eco Journalist)

She is environment journalist and documentary film maker, currently working with BBC Marathi in BBC NEWS, Delhi Bureau. She has worked extensively in environment journalism for 17 years. Environment and conservation journalism is her passion. She has made well researched reportage and documentary films on environment and wildlife conservation. She has always tried to raise environment issues and question decision makers. Creating Public awareness was also main objective behind these reports. She started Shekru-Wildlife conservation Trust in 2004 and made documentaries. She has written articles and news stories for magazines and newspapers on different environmental topics. She has received many prestigious awards.

Dr. Deepak Apte (Green Teacher)

He is the Director of BNHS-India, where he is working since 1993, had an illustrious career till now. He has played many roles in BNHS and initiated various programmes in research, conservation action and advocacy. He established a full-fledged Marine Conservation Programme, apart from various conservation initiatives in terrestrial habitats across India. He has been the member of various committees. He has developed seven documentaries and coordinated distance learning courses in Ornithology and Marine Biodiversity Conservation. He has also contributed to several technical papers globally; has attended numerous seminars, training programmes and conferences and delivered several guest lectures.

Vasundhara Mitra

Gurmeet Sapal (‘Vasundhara Mitra’ – Film maker)

A graduate in life sciences, he passed out of radio and TV course from Indian Institute of Mass Communication in 1998. In 2002 he made his first wildlife film on butterflies called ‘Chasing Butterflies’. It bagged the Vatavaran 2002 award. He received a UK Environment Film Fellowship to make a film on the crime against leopards, ‘Leopards in Lurch’. He loves making films for children and has produced software for them. When not making wildlife films, he works as director-cameraman. He provides filming services to some of the best broadcasters and companies in the world. His interests are driving, trekking and clicking photographs.

Parineeta Dandekar (‘Vasundhara Mitra’ – Activist)

She is the Associate Coordinator, South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People (SANDRP). She is Recipient of the Joke Waller Hunter environment leadership Fellowship for the year 2009-10 from Both Ends, Netherlands. As Associate Coordinator, (SANDRP) her work involves action research, writing and dissemination, advocacy and mobilization on issues related to large infrastructure affecting rivers, communities and ecosystems and highlighting the positive impacts of community led water management, river management and river rejuvenation initiatives across the state and the country. She is a Member Trustee of River Research Centre, Kerala & ‘Freshwater Fisheries Specialist Group, South Asia’ under IUCN.

Youth For Integration (‘Vasundhara Mitra’ – Organization)

The ‘Youth for Integration’ is started with the objective to create awareness among the youths and students on environmental protection and related issues. Bibhuti Debbarma is president of Youth for Integration. They have organized seminar on water conservation and rain water harvesting, trekking and adventure program. Volunteers have participated in the special seminar in Delhi, where they presented a deliberation on the Environmental protection issues in the NE States. Their youth volunteers have participated in the 2 days National Consultation on ‘Save Rivers and Environment’ especially on the protection of Mahanadi held at Bhubaneswar, Orissa.