Chairperson, 10th CMS VATAVARAN 2019 Award Jury
Shri Suresh Prabhu is currently India’s Sherpa to the G20. He was formerly the Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation of Government of India. He has handled several ministries in past from Railways to Environment, Power and Heavy Industries. He has also been Chairman of the Task Force on Interlinking of Rivers.
He is a Rajya Sabha MP from Andhra Pradesh. He has been four-time Member of the Lok Sabha from Rajapur Constituency of Maharashtra – one of the biggest states of India and has also represented Haryana in the Rajya Sabha.
Distinguished Fellow & Programme Director, Integrated Policy Analysis, TERI
Shri Rajani Ranjan Rashmi is a senior member of the Indian Administrative Service (1983) and was Special Secretary to the Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change, Government of India in 2016-17. He served this Ministry in several key policy making positions for almost 8 years from 2008 to 2017 and dealt with a large range of environmental policies and actions. As India’s principal negotiator for climate change for many years, he played a key role in the developments before and after the Paris Agreement.
Currently, he is Distinguished Fellow and Programme Director of Integrated Policy Analysis in TERI where he deals with areas relating to climate change, carbon markets, and integrated analysis of environmental issues.
He is also associated with the Sub Committee of the Ministry of Finance on Climate Finance and is a Member of the Technical Advisory Body of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
Senior Editor & Environment Journalist
Abhilash Khandekar is an eminent journalist from Madhya Pradesh. With an MA in Political Science and M.Com, Khandekar has over 35 years of experience in English, Hindi and Marathi journalism. He has worked with, among others, The Hindustan Times, and Daily News Analysis and as editor of Hindi Dainik Bhaskar in Bhopal. He successfully launched seven Marathi editions of the Dainik Bhaskar Group. He was the editorial head of Maharashtra & Dainik Divya Marathi, launched in 2011 from Aurangabad. He is country's leading environment journalist.
He anchored a unique environment programme on the prestigious Lok Sabha TV by the name Astitva. The Hindi programme ran from 2014 to 2019 without a break.
He is a widely travelled man and has interests ranging from sports to wildlife to classical music to urban affairs. He has co-authored a pictorial book Birds of Sirpur, and then a political profile of Madhya Pradesh state. He also co authored Vultures of Panna, a pictorial book, supported by WWF. Birds of Indore, a field guide edited by him would soon be released.
He is a member of Central Zoo Authority and has also served on MP Wildlife Board for several years.
National Coordinator, IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature)
Ms Archana Chatterjee is working as National Coordinator, IUCN India Country Office, New Delhi. Archana has more than seventeen years of experience with non-governmental and UN organisations. Before joining IUCN, she was working with the UNESCO- New Delhi Office as National Project Coordinator, World Heritage Biodiversity Programme, India. She has also worked as Head, Regional Programme on Himalayan High Altitude Wetlands Rivers, WWF-India. Archana holds M.Phil and Masters in Environmental Sciences from Jawahar lal Nehru University, New Delhi. She has also completed international training programmes on 'Decision Making in Natural Resource Management' from Wageningen University, The Netherlands and 'Transboundary Water Management' from Sweden. Most recently completed a World Bank funded project on Regional Capacity Building: Water Governance South Asia, wherein training modules have been developed by various authors, pilot tested and converted to online self-study modules.
Senior Policy Advisor- CCA & Climate Finance Readiness, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
Kirtiman Awasthi is Senior Policy Advisor at GIZ India, where he is responsible for climate change adaptation and climate finance readiness portfolio and is coordinating implementation of Indo-German technical cooperation project- Climate Change Adaptation in Rural Areas of India. He has long experience of working on knowledge management, policy support and community initiatives covering issues of climate change, DRR and natural resource management as part of bilateral, multilateral & non-governmental organizations. He has worked with various State Governments coordinating preparation of their respective State Action Plans on Climate Change (SAPCC) and facilitated development and institutionalization of multi-level training programme on adaptation planning & implementation in the Himalayan States as part of NMSHE. Kirtiman Awasthi, actively participated in the UNFCCC processes as part of the Indian Delegation where he covered issues of adaptation, loss & damage and capacity building and supported Durban Platform process. He is a contributing author with Indo-Swiss Collaborative Research Consortium responsible for developing state of the art framework for Integrated Vulnerability & Risks Assessment in the Indian Himalayan Region. Kirtiman is an avid biker and loves to travel especially in mountain regions. He is an alumnus of Wageningen University, the Netherlands.
Managing Director – South Asia, Discovery Communications India
Megha Tata joined Discovery Communications India as Managing Director of South Asia on April 01, 2019. A veteran of the media & entertainment industry, Megha joins Discovery from BTVI (Business Television India) where as the head of India operations, she played a key role in enhancing channel’s offerings in new and emerging platforms. Prior to that, she has held leadership roles at HBO, Turner International and Star TV.
Megha has been actively involved in various industry forums. She is currently in the Management Committee of International Advertising Association India Chapter after having served as its Vice President during 2016 – 2018. Megha was a committee member for ASCI (Advertising Standards Council of India) from 2013-2015.
Megha has been part of the Jury of leading industry awards like International Emmys, Promax, Children’s Film Festival, Golden Mikes Awards, International Women in Sales Awards, Impact’s 30 under 30 and many more. Besides being involved in industry initiatives, she feels energized by engaging with young minds through guest lectures at leading educational institutes including IIT, IIM, ISB, UBS and more.
Megha has received multiple industry accolades in an illustrious career spanning more than 28 years. Recognized as the ‘top 50 influential women in media, marketing and advertising’, Megha was bestowed with ‘Women of the decade in media’ by the Women Economic Forum in 2018. Earlier, Megha received the Women Leadership Achievement award by the Women Leadership Congress. She is also involved as a Volunteer with Isha Foundation - a non-profit organisation started by Sadhguru.
Raajash Chetwal is a filmmaker with many causes - environment, wildlife, human rights, social justice, gender issues, children, education. He is Promoter/MD - Shilpali Film City, Rajasthan's first ever film city coming up near Jawai Dam and Director - Cheetahgarh Resorts. Mr. Chetwal is also Executive Member of Management Committee of L&M Public School, Ajmer.
Mr. Chetwal Produced the highly acclaimed feature film "The Wishing Tree" which gently nudges children to fall in love with trees and forests. An award winner at LIFFT World Cine Fest 2018, a finalist at NNF Festival (Israel) and official selection at the San Diego International Kids Film Festival 2018 (California, USA), SEFF Film Festival 2019 (Croatia), and PIFF 2018. Now on Netflix. Next film project is titled "Paani Re Paani" wherein a poignant saga unfolds against the backdrop of a giant dam whose foundation is being laid over thousands of human lives and innumerable lies.
A keen photographer, an intense writer and an avid overland traveller... with passion for music.
Managing Editor, Down To Earth
Richard is the Managing Editor of Down To Earth magazine. He has been associated with the fortnightly since 1997 and has written extensively on rural affairs and development matters. He reports the local from a global perspective.
Grammy® Winning Musician/ US Billboard #1/Environmentalist
Grammy® Award Winner, US Billboard #1 artist, UNESCO “Ambassador for Kindness” and UNICEF 'Celebrity Supporter' Ricky Kej is an internationally renowned Indian Music Composer, Environmentalist and Professor. Ricky has dedicated his life and Music to creating awareness on the environment, and positive social impact. He has performed at prestigious venues in over 25 countries, including at the United Nations Headquarters in New York and Geneva.
Ricky Kej composed and produced his album ‘SHANTI SAMSARA’, which was launched by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Francois Hollande in the presence of World Leaders at the United Nations COP21 Climate Change Conference in Paris. For Shanti Samsara, Ricky collaborated with over 500 musicians from over 40 countries, all coming. His past repertoire of work includes 16 studio albums released internationally, over 3500 commercials and 4 feature films, including the natural history documentary 'Wild Karnataka' narrated by Sir David Attenborough. Ricky also scored music for the opening ceremony of the Cricket World Cup 2011, held in Dhaka-Bangladesh. During his musical career, Ricky Kej has associated and collaborated with artists such as Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Peter Gabriel, Stewart Copeland (The Police), Peter Yarrow (Peter, Paul & Mary), Soweto Gospel Choir, Philip Lawrence (Bruno Mars), Roger Waters, Amitabh Bachchcan, Shankar Mahadevan, Rick Allen (Def Leppard), Patti Austin, Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, etc.
Ricky has been awarded the United Nations "Global Humanitarian Artist" award. Among other awards to his credit, he has also won Producer of the year at the South African Music Awards, Album of the year at the Zone Music Awards (New Orleans, USA), Global Indian Music Award and Mirchi Music Awards (India), and Centre for Conscious Creativity's ‘FutureVision’ Award (Los Angeles, USA). Ricky is also conferred with the title “Youth Icon of India". 'Real Leaders', a Signatory to the United Nations has recently named Ricky Kej as one of the 100 Real Leaders who 'Inspire the Future'. The House of Commons, Parliament of Canada has awarded Ricky for his "Outstanding Musical and Humanitarian Achievement”.
A chapter on Ricky's life and musical journey is taught in the 7th grade English textbooks in India. Ricky Kej is also a professor at the prestigious National Institute of advanced Studies (at the Indian Institute ofScience) and an Ambassador to Earth Day Network.
Senior Advisor Strategic Vision, Communications and Campaigns, Wildlife Trust of India
Rupa Gandhi Chaudhary has led Communications and some iconic campaigns of Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) since 2004. A mid-career switch mindfully made by this Chemical Engineer into the arena of conservation communications was due to her innate interest in travel and wildlife but the impact of the campaigns that she led in WTI added the extra impetus to continue contributing to this field. In her current role as Senior Advisor to the CEO of WTI on Strategic planning, communications and campaigns, she ideates, strategises and helps develop long term plans for the organisation while also retaining the hands-on expertise on targeting social media audiences through visual content and messaging. Having worked with a gamut of communications, creative and visual media professionals for almost three decades, she bridges the gap between the raw content generator, creator and end user through her understanding of niche target audiences.
Film Director & Actor
Suhasini Mulay is a documentary filmmaker and actor. She has produced and directed many documentary films and videos. She has won National Awards in India for 4 of her documentaries, films including An Indian Story, Bhopal: Beyond Genocide, Chitthi and The Official Art Form. Her films have been shown in various national and international festivals and on foreign television channels.
She has also acted in films, significant are Bhuvan Shome directed by Mrinal Sen, Bhav Ni Bhavai by Ketan Mehta and Hu Tu Tu by Gulzar. This film has also bagged her the National Award for the Best Supporting Actress in 1999. Since then she has acted in films and television shows including Lagaan, Dil Chahta Hai, Jodha Akbar and others.
Chairman, Children’s Film Society, Telangana & Chairman, Forum for a Better Hyderabad
Mr. M. Vedakumar studied Civil Engineering from Mysore University and holds a Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) from School and Planning and Architecture, JNTU, Hyderabad.
Under his Chairmanship, Forum for a Better Hyderabad focuses on the Sustainable Development of Hyderabad and the neighbouring region by addressing issues pertaining to urban planning, heritage conservation, lakes conservation, urban biodiversity and green spaces, transportation and traffic management and environmental pollution control. For over 2 decades now, Mr. Manikonda has been working to protect the heritage buildings of the state. Through his continued efforts, Forum has protected more than 25 heritage buildings in the city.
He headed a project on Musi River conservation and restoration in association with Humboldt University, Germany. He was invited to speak at the International Water Conference in Berlin, where he expressed his concern over water issues in Hyderabad and the significance of the Musi River. Apart from environmental management and heritage conservation, Mr. Manikonda takes a keen interest in the protection of trees in the region. His commitment to this cause has facilitated the framing of tree protection guidelines, which have enabled the protection of 10,000 trees and the translocation of 7500 trees, some of which are over 150 years old.
He is a Governing Council Member of INTACH, New Delhi and also served as the Co-convener of INTACH, AP., state Chapter. During his tenure, he strived for the protection of precincts, rock formations, monuments and vernacular architectures.
He was an international jury member at many International Children’s Film Festivals held across the world since 2003. He was a recipient of the National Award as a co-producer for Matti Manushulu from the then President of India, Mr R Venkataraman in 1991, in addition to three other National Awards. He has also been associated with making award-winning documentaries like “The City” (Hyderabad), “Maa Vooru” (The Village), in association with renowned filmmaker Mr. B Narsing Rao.
He also currently serves as the Chairman of Telangana Resource Centre (TRC), Chairman, Deccan Academy, and Chief Editor of Bala Chelimil, a Children’s Magazine, Deccan Channel and Deccan Land Monthly Magazine.