A Chennai-based environmentalist Arun Krishnamurthy quit his job at Google and launched an eco-movement which has reportedly cleaned 93 freshwater bodies across 14 states in the country. He has started Environmentalist Foundation of India (EFI), a non-profit wildlife conservation and habitat restoration group.
The 32-year-old’s love for water bodies motivated him to do his bit and ensure all water bodies have a healthy ecological balance.
His first attempt at cleaning water bodies was in Chennai where he was supported by the local panchayat and later led him to expand his efforts around the country.
“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 the community to revive freshwater lakes and ponds,” he told Weather.com.
Arun has been an inspiration for many school children and environment conservation veterans, who volunteer with EFI under their slogan ‘Volunteer for India and her Environment with EFI’.
Since 2007, EFI has removed harmful botanical species from several lakes and ponds, that are crucial for maintaining the ecological balance of nature.
The EFI has successfully worked in cities like Chennai, Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Pune, Hyderabad, Coimbatore, Puducherry, Thiruvananthapuram, Bengaluru, Tirunelveli and Ahmedabad.
Arun was also awarded the Rolex Award for Enterprise 2012, which supports people working towards improving life on the planet and offers solutions to significant problems.
“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,” Arun added.
Speaking about the environment getting destroyed and the human’s ability to both ruin and save it, Arun said, “Have we lost the ‘human’ in the ‘being’?”
Arun believes that people need to understand the country’s natural history and take efforts to conserve it in real-time before it is too late.