Our planet’s water bodies have been suffering at the hands of human beings for a while now and oceanic life has been under constant threat ever since.
Unlike most people, this Chennai-based environmentalist Arun Krishnamurthy couldn’t ignore how serious the situation was and decided to take charge.
After quitting his job at Google, Krishnamurthy launched an eco-movement which has reportedly cleaned 93 freshwater bodies across 14 states in the country.
This movement led to the Environmentalist Foundation of India (EFI) which is a non-profit wildlife conservation and habitat restoration group.
Growing up surrounded by water bodies, the 32-year-old’s love for them made him take this life-changing decision. According to IANS, his mission is to make sure all water bodies have a healthy ecological balance.
He also claims that leaving behind a life of luxury was never a challenge for him as he has never been uncertain about anything in his life.
His first attempt at cleaning out water bodies was in Chennai, where he was supported by the local panchayat and later led him to expand his efforts around the country. He told IANS,
We work very closely with the Centre and State governments. We do not receive any funding, but depend on the government for permissions and approvals. There is a positive trend across the country where the administration is keen on encouraging groups such as ours to mobilise community to revive freshwater lakes and ponds.
He has also been an inspiration for many school-goers and environment conservation veterans, who volunteer with EFI under their slogan ‘Volunteer for India and her Environment with EFI’.
Apart from the government taking an active interest in EFI’s efforts, they are also supported by partner organisations like The Hinduja Foundation, The Murugappa Group, Shriram Group, among others, through funds and volunteers.
Krishnamurthy’s efforts also made him the receiver of The Rolex Awards for Enterprise 2012, which supports individuals who work on projects that are dedicated to improving life on our planet and offer solutions to major problems. He also said,
Convincing the local community in understanding the need for conserving the freshwater body is an interesting piece of this bigger puzzle. Once we have the local community involved, we then do not have to worry about the water body. All problems related to pollution, encroachments etc can be thus sorted out.
He also said that he finds India’s environment fascinating and people need to understand the nation’s natural history in order to conserve it in real time.
The EFI has already successfully worked in cities like Chennai, Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Pune, Hyderabad, Coimbatore, Puducherry, Thiruvananthapuram, Bengaluru, Tirunelveli and Ahmedabad.