Variety

Environment is his call, 24x7

Rhea Lobo Chennai | Updated on November 14, 2017 Published on March 09, 2012

Mr Arun Krishnamurthy — Bijoy Ghosh





Arun Krishnamurthy's dedication to the environment recently fetched him the first place in the Google Alumni Impact Awards – he worked in Google for three years, till 2010. The $15,000 cash prize that came with the award will help boost the Environmentalist Foundation of India's (formerly called Roots and Shoots India) activities – including setting up an animal rescue centre.

Time is not a constraint to do social work for 25-year-old Krishnamurthy. He balances a job with saving the environment, saying, “Roots and Shoots doesn't have a specific time in life… it is 24/7, 365 days a year. Just before coming here, we rescued two dogs hit by an unknown vehicle. Immediately after (this interview), I have a client meeting, post which I have to go for a mass communication programme, then a street play on fisheries by-catch and by nightfall, I'll feed the dogs, cats and turtles,” he says. All in a day's work for the youngster.

Currently a communications professional with Zomato, an online company offering food guidance, Krishnamurthy says he pumps 40-50 per cent of his salary into the organisation. The Tamil Nadu Forest Department, Andhra Pradesh Forest Department and Delhi State Government have supported the organisation's initiatives. Krishnamurthy taps into the potential of school students and young adults to champion the environment cause and has conducted over 100 school programmes in Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Lucknow and Vizag. And the result is 18 conservation projects, such as cleaning lakes, sparrow reintroduction and herbs restoration.

Most of the NGO's volunteers (over 650) are between 13 and 20, and this is the key reason why he is not sceptical about how long this will sustain or even worried about funding, because “of the measure of commitment towards conservation projects by this age group... they are very passionate — once they realise what they want to do they don't stop, and they don't let me stop too.”

Krishnamurthy isn't too happy with what he calls “desktop conservation.” He says, “People think that by the click of a mouse or the tap of space bar you can save tigers or turtles, which is absurd. You need to get to the ground to work.”

>rhea.l@thehindu.co.in

Published on March 09, 2012
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