Arun Krishnamurthy

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Arun Krishnamurthy
Born 1986 (age 31–32)
Nationality Indian
Alma mater Madras Christian College
Indian Institute of Mass Communication
Occupation Environmentalist
Awards Jane Goodall Institute Global Youth Leadership (2010)
Google Alumni Impact (2011)
Rolex Awards for Enterprise (2012)
Website www.facebook.com/arunoogle

Arun Krishnamurthy (born 1986) is an Indian environmental activist who has initiated the campaign of cleaning various lakes across India. He is known for founding the NGO, Environmentalist Foundation of India (EFI) in 2011 based in Chennai which has its branches in other cities such as Hyderabad, Delhi and Coimbatore.[1][2][3] Arun with the organisation has been successful in cleaning at least 17 lakes in the country[4] and having worked in Google before quitting the job to dedicate voluntarily.[5] He was chosen as among the five people for prestigious Rolex Awards for Enterprise award in 2012 for scientific lake restoration in Chennai.[6][7][8]

Early life and education[edit]

Arun spent his childhood in Mudichur, a village 29 km from Chennai.He studied in Good Earth School located in Naduveerapattu. He has said that he was inspired by a village panchayat head, Dhamodharan who had encouraged people to collect the garbage from the pond to keep it clean. Arun's friend Karthik Shivasundaram was also his inspiration.[4][9] He enjoys film-making, photography and cycling.[10] Krishnamurthy completed his bachelor’s in microbiology from Madras Christian College and worked at Google, Hyderabad for over three years. Arun then went to study in The Indian Institute of Mass Communication in Delhi.[11] He then joined Goodall’s Roots & Shoots in India in 2008, an organisation that helps young people to resolve problems within the communities.

Career[edit]

Arun worked at Google but later quit to start his own company. Arun has stated that environment and wildlife has always attracted him, but the degradation of the urban greenery had motivated him to protect it. Krishnamurthy had founded an internationally recognised organisation, EFI which was founded in 2007[12] ,self-funded and was registered as a trust in 2012.[13] The organisation recruits volunteers mainly through school programmes including seminars and workshops.[14][15][16] Their main projects include lake restoration, beach clean ups, herbs restoration, stray animal care and eco bags introduction.[10] Arun owns his company Business Krish Info Media,[17] which works in the area of digital media marketing, corporate training, business development and election results predictions.[2][18][19]

Lake restoration[edit]

Arun started with cleaning the Gurunadham Lake in Hyderabad and a lake in Delhi[20][21] and included several other programmes such as 'Green Gramam', which is a development plan for establishing eco-friendly villages, 'AniPal' which is stray animal care programme and 'Waste Not' which offers waste management solutions. They have set up 19 biodiversity parks in schools.[22] Krishnamurthy is involved in a 16-month project which not only provides physical garbage removal but also puts fencing in the lakes to protect them from human activities as in the case of cleaning beach from Injambakkam to Besant Nagar in Chennai. Arun has further told that they have introduced animal ambulance for street animals and on establishing one animal rescue and a rehabilitation centre in Chennai and Hyderabad by 2015.[13]

He as a team follows a scientific approach towards cleaning and saving aquatic species. On wildlife conservation, the team is currently focusing on freshwater life forms, birds that are dependent on the lakes where many turtles live. Arun plans blocking access to any lake once cleaning is completed so that the aquatic plants and species would be protected.[7][18] Krishnamurthy had won Google Alumni Impact Award in 2011 for restoring lakes in Hyderabad. He had directed documentary films such as ‘Caught By’, which focuses on land and sea connection and fishes in the lakes Kurma (2010), for which he received a British Council International Climate Champion Excellence Award for showing the poor condition of sea turtles and Elixir Poisoned (2011) which highlights the need to protect the aquatic environment.[18][23][24] As of May, 2017, 39 lakes and 48 ponds have been restored in states such as Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Gujarat.[12]

Restoration in Tamil Nadu[edit]

Arun along with his team EFI is credited in cleaning many lakes in Tamil Nadu with majority of them in Chennai district. Different methods were employed for scientific restoration such as including "G" shaped central island for aquatic species, percolation trenches for effective water harvesting, reef bed for growing plankton and installation of decentralised water treatment plant in case of Selvachintamani Kulam lake in Coimbatore.[25][26] It had also included entire lake division into patches and removal of wastes such as glass, plastic, poultry waste and construction debris from Madambakkam lake,[27] repeated clean up of physical garbage with study of the soil pattern and the quality of water in Keezhkattalai lake along with the awareness and mass sensitisation campaign created among the people.[28] The funding for the restoration had also been done through crowdsourcing[29] with support from the local corporation as well.[25][26] Similar efforts have been done for cleaning other lakes in 2016 as well.[30][31]

Present Scenario[edit]

Arun's organisation EFI has 212 volunteers in Chennai and membership of over 1000 in India by July 2013.[11] Krishnamurthy is credited in cleaning 17 lakes in the country including five in Chennai by May 2013.[32] Arun had mentioned that his NGO plans to clean over 20 lakes by 2016. Arun wants to initiate conservation projects for the corporate and start activities in neighbour countries such as Nepal and Bhutan.[33] He had said that he does not see personal success in winning Rolex award but as a team effort[34] and had stated that people think that without going on the ground the lakes would be free from garbage and dirt,[35] with laying stress on public support through awareness campaigns.[28][29]

The Arun and EFI has received voluntary support from celebrities of film industry as well, including Kamal Hasan[36] and Trisha Krishnan.[37]

During the 2015 floods in Chennai and areas of Tamil Nadu, Arun and EFI was involved in relief work in Chennai and several villages in Cuddalore District.[38]

Recognition[edit]

  • British Council International Climate Champion Excellence Award in 2010.
  • Google Alumni Impact Award in 2011.
  • Rolex Awards for Enterprise award in 2012 for cleaning Lake Kilkattalai in Chennai.
  • Jane Goodall Institute Global Youth Leadership Award, 2010.[39][40]
  • Youth Action Net Fellow.[24]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rolex Awards for Enterprise : Arun Krishnamurthy : Overview Archived 26 April 2016 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ a b Man's World India - Chennai Laker Archived 8 February 2014 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ Saving Hyderabad’s dying lakes - Times Of India
  4. ^ a b Men are from marsh! - The Hindu Archived 2 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ The man who's cleaning up India's dirty lakes - Times Of India
  6. ^ Rolex award for Enterprise: 2 Indians in top 5 - Indian Express Archived 17 February 2014 at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ a b News - Cleaning up India’s lakes Archived 15 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ "IVLP Alumnus Champions Conversation through Youth Activism in India". International Exchange Alumni.
  9. ^ He lives to keep the environment alive - Rediff Getahead Archived 20 February 2016 at the Wayback Machine.
  10. ^ a b Only 26, he has already restored 6 lakes in the country! Archived 10 April 2016 at the Wayback Machine.
  11. ^ a b He lives to keep the environment alive - Rediff Getahead Archived 20 February 2016 at the Wayback Machine.
  12. ^ a b "To Save Our Future, EFI Has Restored 39 Lakes In 10 Years". HuffPost. 16 May 2017. Archived from the original on 8 November 2017.
  13. ^ a b Nurturing Nature - The Hindu Archived 3 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
  14. ^ Crash course on trash, environment - The New Indian Express Archived 5 February 2016 at the Wayback Machine.
  15. ^ Let's be green - The Hindu Archived 2 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
  16. ^ Doing his part for the environment - The New Indian Express Archived 5 February 2016 at the Wayback Machine.
  17. ^ "ABOUT US". Krish Info Media. Archived from the original on 26 August 2014.
  18. ^ a b c Saving The Planet, One Step At A Time - The Better India Archived 3 May 2016 at the Wayback Machine.
  19. ^ "The prediction industry". Frontline. 10 June 2016. Archived from the original on 8 November 2017.
  20. ^ He lives to keep the environment alive - Rediff Getahead Archived 20 February 2016 at the Wayback Machine.
  21. ^ He Traded In His Career At Google To Rescue India's Polluted Lakes - All News Is Global Archived 3 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
  22. ^ Conserving the wild, greening cities and saving our lakes Archived 4 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine.
  23. ^ The Hindu : Tamil Nadu / Chennai News : Creating awareness through theatre and song Archived 1 June 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
  24. ^ a b Rolex Awards for Enterprise : Arun Krishnamurthy : Profile Archived 4 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine.
  25. ^ a b "Selvachinthamani Tank in Coimbatore to be scientifically restored". THE HINDU. 14 August 2014.
  26. ^ a b "Bid to keep sewage out of Selvapuram lake". THE TIMES OF INDIA. 28 June 2014. Archived from the original on 3 October 2016.
  27. ^ "Setting a dream afloat". THE HINDU. 18 August 2014.
  28. ^ a b "EFI to restore Keezhkattalai lake". THE HINDU. 12 October 2013. Archived from the original on 19 October 2013.
  29. ^ a b "Residents, EFI join hands to revive Arasankazhani lake". THE HINDU. 26 November 2013.
  30. ^ "Residents hail revival of suburban ponds". The Hindu. 25 May 2016. Archived from the original on 8 November 2017.
  31. ^ "EFI restores waterbodies in Karasangal, Mudichur". The Hindu. 14 October 2016. Archived from the original on 8 November 2017.
  32. ^ Men are from marsh! - The Hindu Archived 3 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
  33. ^ He lives to keep the environment alive - Rediff Getahead Archived 20 February 2016 at the Wayback Machine.
  34. ^ He Traded In His Career At Google To Rescue India's Polluted Lakes - All News Is Global Archived 3 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
  35. ^ Environment is his call, 24x7 | Business Line
  36. ^ "Kamal Haasan celebrates birthday with a clean up drive". THE HINDU. 7 November 2014. Archived from the original on 17 October 2015.
  37. ^ "Trisha Krishnan volunteers to clean animal home". ZEE NEWS. 3 December 2014. Archived from the original on 10 December 2014.
  38. ^ "Meet the young man who helped more than 1000 families during the recent Chennai rains". Daily News and Analysis. 28 November 2015. Archived from the original on 1 December 2015.
  39. ^ the Jane Goodall Institute Archived 2 April 2015 at the Wayback Machine.
  40. ^ Youth leader receives Goodall award - Times-Standard Online Archived 2 April 2015 at the Wayback Machine.

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