Padma Shri I Indian Environmentalist I Politicial Activist
Who Am I
Sunita Narain is an Indian environmentalist and political
activist as well as a major proponent of the Green concept
of sustainable development Narain is director general of the
India-based research institute the Centre for Science and Environment
(CSE) since 1982, Director of the Society for Environmental Communications,
and editor of the fortnightly magazine, Down To Earth.
She is a writer and
environmentalist, who uses knowledge for change. In 2005 she was awarded the
Padma Shri by the Indian government. She has also received the World Water
Prize for work on rainwater harvesting and for its policy influence in building
paradigms for community based water management. In 2005, she also chaired the
Tiger Task Force at the direction of the Prime Minister, to evolve an action
plan for conservation in the country after the loss of tigers in Sariska. She
advocated solutions to build a co-existence agenda with local communities so
that benefits of conservation could be shared and the future secured. Narain
was a member of the Prime Minister’s Council for Climate Change as well as the
National Ganga River Basin Authority.
Narain began her work in the
early 1980s, as a co-researcher with Anil Agarwal, an eminent and committed
environmentalist who gave the country its environmental concern and message. In
1985, she co-edited the State of India’s Environment report, which built an
understanding in the country on why India is so important for the poor. With
experience, she learnt that environment and development are two sides of the
same coin and that for the millions of poor, who live on the margins of
subsistence, it a matter of survival. In 1989, learning from the successful
initiatives of people to manage the environment, she along with Anil Agarwal
wrote Towards Green Villages advocating local participatory democracy as the
key to sustainable development.
Sunita has researched and wrote
about how environment must become the basis of livelihood security of people in
the country. She has also linked issues of local democracy with global
democracy, arguing that every human being has an entitlement to the global
atmospheric common. In 2012, she has authored the 7th State of India’s
Environment Reports, Excreta Matters, which presents a comprehensive analysis
of urban India’s water and pollution challenges.
She has been an inspiring leader,
which reflects in her speeches as well. Apart from bringing attention to the
key issues, Sunita explains the importance of environment and paying attentions
to the global scenario.
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