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Red carpet for our green heroes

The Times of India | Sep 13, 2015

When Shanti Tekam, a woman from a remote MP village, walked on to the stage on Friday night to receive an award on behalf of her community for saving forests, she realized how the world was looking at her with respect. Tekam is from a household that's part of 12,500 such, across 175 villages in her state. Union environment and forests minister Prakash Javadekar gave her the award.

Tekam, with another villager, Bansuri Ram, received the 6th JSW --The Times of India Earth Care Award in the `community' category given to the Royal Bank Scotland (RBS) Foundation, India, for leading a consortium that's been not only working to save green cover through community participation but also helping thousands to adopt sustainable practices for their livelihood.

Another award in this category went to Chennai's M S Swaminathan Research Foundation for developing an integrated mangrove, fishing and farming system to con serve the ecosystem and improve the coastal community's access to livelihood opportunities.

Presenting the awards, Javadekar praised the joint efforts of the JSW Group and The Times of India. It was a wonderful move to recognize communities for their efforts and unique solutions they had adopt, he said.

The award winners with environment minister Prakash Javadekar. "I've got better solutions from a common man and a farmer than experts," he said, promising full support to community initiatives to make lives of fellow citizens better and fulfil the government's "clean India, green India" motto.

These were part of the eight awards given in different categories including innovation, industry and small & medium enterprise.The awards honoured entities that have demonstrated excellence in climate change mitigation and adaption. Besides Javadekar, Union power and renewable energy minister Piyush Goyal honoured the winners and shared the stage with the green heroes at an impressive ceremony at Kamal Mahal, Hotel ITC Maurya.

Enlisting measures being taken by PM Modi's government to fight climate change and promote sustainable development practices, Javadekar and Goyal urged people, communities and industries to partner the government in its effort to save "Mother Earth".

Launched in 2007-08, the Earth Care Awards is a joint initiative of the JSW Foundation (social arm of the JSW Group) and TOI. It seeks to identify and foster actions with special reference to mitigation and adaptation imperatives related to climate change across sectors.

The Center for Environment Education (CEE) is the Knowledge partner for these awards. It has been instrumental in conceptualizing a technical and methodological framework for assessment of the mitigation and adaptation parameters to define the evaluation process. In 2011, this initiative extended its reach to all SAARC countries and was joined by TERRE Policy Centre as outreach partner. The 2015 awardees were selected by a six-member jury headed by eminent scientist and former DG of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research R A Mashelkar.

The awards in the `innovation' category went to Larsen & Toubro Limited, Datamatrix Infotech Pvt Ltd and the Gujarat Energy Research and Management Institute.Raymond UCO Denim Pvt Ltd won in the `industry' category. The award in the `small and medium enterprise' category went to JB Chemicals. Surat Municipal Corpo ration won in the `urban' category.

Highlighting joint commitment to save the earth through concerted action on the ground, JSW Foundation Chairperson Sangita Jindal said: "We've borrowed this earth from our children. JSW , Times of India, CEE and TERRE are committed to return a thriving and prosperous planet to them. We will continue evolving."

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,Red carpet for our green heroes