Lalit Shastri (born 1957) is an Indian journalist, editor, wildlife film maker, birder, and environmentalist. He is a former Principal Correspondent of The Hindu and a Special Correspondent of The Asian Age - two of India's leading English newspapers. He quit a corporate job to investigate the causes leading to the 1984 Bhopal gas disaster and subsequently became a full-time journalist. He has extensively covered from ground zero for The Hindu, the riots that followed the demolition of the Babri Mosque in Ayodhya and repeated attacks by Naxalite-Maoists in the Central Indian States of Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.
Education and early career
After studying Economics, English Literature and History at the graduation level at Bhopal University, Shastri studied ancient Indian History at the MA level at the centre for Historical Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi where he played an important role in building the Free Thinkers movement among the freshers of 1978.
Shastri is founder Member of Child Rights Observatory Madhya Pradesh, promoted by UNICEF for protection of children's rights. He is also the founder President of Crusade for Revival of Environment and Wildlife (CREW), a not-for-profit organization. CREW works for conservation of environment. The annual Central Indian Highlands Wildlife Film Festival is a focused wildlife and conservation awareness programme being implemented by CREW.
"Bhopal Disaster—an eyewitness account" (1986). It underscores the causes that led to the poisonous gas leak at the Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal during the intervening night of 2 and 3 December 1984. The book titled "Bhopal Disaster—an eyewitness account", was released by the then President Giani Zail Singh at Rashtrapati Bhavan in 1985. This book is a reference volume in the US Library of Congress catalogue.
"Political Mirage—50 years after India became Republic" (2000). It raises issues concerning civil society and is a collection of articles published in The Hindu over an eight-year period. The book was launched by the then Prime Minister of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee in New Delhi in June 2000.
Shastri has written research based articles for the Annual Environment Survey published by The Hindu and Frontline.
Figured as an expert on Environment in the Belgian documentary India for Beginners-2009.
The Last of the Gharial.
Awards and nominations
Shasri was nominated by Union Ministry of External Affairs to be part of Media delegation to Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam coinciding with External Affairs Minister's visit to Brunei Darussalam for participating in ASEAN India post-ministerial conference (PMC) and East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers meeting. (24 June – 2 July 2013). In 1998, he was a member of the Confederation of Indian Industry Delegation to London (1998).
Shastri is Member of the Jury for Madhya Pradesh Government's Maharana Pratap Shaurya Rajya Puraskar (Maharana Pratap Bravery Award). He was a member of the Board of Governors of the Nadhya Pradesh Tiger Foundation set up by the Government of the Central Indian State of Madhya Pradesh and also the State Environment Council set up by the Government of Madhya Pradesh for two extended terms (1999–2004). Shastri Was member of the Confederation of Indian Industry Delegation to London (1998).
In 2015 Shastri received the prestigious Outstanding Journalist Award instituted by the Vichitra Kumar Sinha Award Committee in Bhopal, India. In 2006, he was awarded the K.P. Narayanan Award for Excellence in Journalism.
- Shastri, Lalit "Running a Parallel Government," The Hindu, 26 December 1999
- Access to Justice: Human Rights Abuses Involving Corporations Page 93 Shastri, Lalit, Bhopal Disaster: An Eye Witness Account, Criterion Publications, New Delhi, 1985.
- Neena Vyas and Lalit Shastri - "The BJP's Double Face", The Hindu, 7 May 1995, P 5
- UNITED NATIONS HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL, 13th Session of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review 21 May to 1 June 2012, International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) submission to the Universal Periodic Review of India, Submitted November 2011 Lalit Shastri, Bhopal Disaster: An Eye Witness Account (New Delhi: Criterion Publications, 1985) pp. 29–30, and 77-78; ]
- http://www.bhopalbirds.com/page/Resource%20Persons#.VVNJ6I6qqko[dead link]
- "About Us". Child Rights Observatory Madhya Pradesh. Retrieved 13 May 2015.
- "Bhopal disaster : an eye witness account". Library of Congress. Library of Congress. Retrieved 13 May 2015.
- "Political Mirage". PIB Photo Gallery. Retrieved 12 May 2015.
- "About Us". cihfestival. CREW. Retrieved 12 May 2015.
- "India for Beginners". Youtube. Retrieved 12 May 2015.
- "The Last of the Gharial". youtube. AssignmentEarth. Retrieved 12 May 2015.
- "Water birds of Bhopal come to Delhi". The Hindu. The Hindu. Retrieved 12 May 2015.
- Save Bird Campaign
- "Dedicated, service-oriented and Karmayogi people command honour". MPINFO. Department of Public Relations, Government of Madhya Pradesh. Retrieved 12 May 2015.