Arun Krishnamurthy- The Lake Warrior of India | Tricky Travellers

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Arun Krishnamurthy is one of the globe’s youngest awardees of the Rolex Award for Enterprise. The award recognised his tribute to the rehabilitation of Chennai’s Kilkattalai lake, which is one of the primary feeders to the Pallikaranai Marsh. Resigning from a promising job at Google to pursue a dream of restoring the environment around him, Indian conservationist Arun Krishnamurthy has motivated communities to rehabilitate their polluted city lakes. Climate change and the following water crisis has been impacting millions of beings, across the world. Even in India, multiple states are encountering a drastic scarcity of water. Still, when it reaches taking action, the population is reluctant to endeavour. At a time, when public participation serves as the sole counter to the crises, young leaders like Arun Krishnamurthy are the ones that bring about a change. His devotion to the environment began in childhood at Mudichur, a region encircled by waterbodies. The natural environment around his residence and its slow degradation encouraged him to volunteer for conservation.

The Initiation


Arun Krishnamurthy, the founder of the Environmentalist Foundation of India (EFI), ventured on a mission to clean up the lakes in his early 20s. A single man’s endeavour, launched in 2007, has evolved into a trend that has supported replenishing waterbodies in 15 States and diversified to deal with other environmental problems. Days spent as a student volunteer developed him how a non-governmental organisation functions, and his journey at Google, Hyderabad, motivated him to think out of the box. EFI was an only volunteer-driven campaign between 2007 and 2011. He initially operated to mobilise volunteers for lake clean-ups through personal networks in Chennai, Coimbatore and Hyderabad. Student volunteers motivated the endeavours. Mr Krishnamurthy was the exemplary face of weekend volunteering for lake and pond clean-ups, a famous concept now in Chennai and several different cities. In 2009, teams used to encourage school students to volunteer through environment orientation programmes in Chennai and Hyderabad. They used to do beach clean-ups and established a platform for people who were willing to participate in and contribute to eco-system preservation.

Environmentalist Foundation of India (EFI)


E.F.I is a registered not for profit trust. Founded by Arun Krishnamurthy. A non-religious, non-political foundation that prioritizes India and its Environment through positive conservation. This organization is exclusively for those who are willing to devote manpower towards leading change. This isn’t an organization for Desktop Conservationists. Just because we can walk straight and talk loud it doesn’t bestow us any advantage over other life elements. Our supremacy requires to be ascertained through our humanity for all life forms. Environmentalist Foundation of India is a launch platform for anybody who wishes for a better environment. It is a manifestation for those who yearn to see a newer and greener planet.

It was in 2012 that EFI was registered as a wildlife conservation and habitat rehabilitation organization. The same year, Arun Krishnamurthy was selected for the Rolex Award for Enterprise. He realised what he was fated for after the prestigious award. The emphasis on scientific rehabilitation of water bodies, not only beautification and look for innovative solutions to sustain the endeavours. This non-profit trust has rehabilitated more than 141 waterbodies across 15 States and has committed 14 full-time environmental professionals.

Ambition and Endeavours


With more than 57,000 volunteers that were involved in rehabilitation recreations in 2018 in nine States, Mr Krishnamurthy believes that People are their strength. It is the highest number of volunteers since EFI was begun. Their emphasis on rehabilitation changed after the government facilitated NGO participation in 2014 with the water security objective. He believes one can accomplish result-oriented rehabilitation only if everyone comes together. With the affiliation of the government, civil society, NGOs and industries, it became a successful model for lake conservation. He is now involved in beach clean-ups through EFI’s Samudhra project. They want to mitigate the localised ocean garbage pollution in our seaside town. They are looking at solutions, procedures for deep ocean cleaning, too. In the next few years, he wants to modify this project and invest time in city afforestation and create a green cover on a 50-acre land parcel at Manali and Sriperumbudur.

To make his ambition of developing freshwater habitats and trash-free zones on Chennai’s beaches into certainty, he furthermore aims to create the next level of leadership to take up more environmental projects in 10 years. Earth is the only home we have and we should do everything in our power to protect it. In fact, it's not the earth we'll be saving by such endeavour but humans. It is not enough to only clean the water bodies; it is equally significant to preserve the cleanliness. The EFI has been engaged in building an ecosystem for aquatic lives. They are also engaging local communities and most significantly, sensitizing the community about the need for water conservation.



Category: Sustainable Travel

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