New Delhi (India), November 7: India’s first ever dedicated award show for Indian Forest Service officers, the Eco Warrior Awards 2023, was held on 3rd November, to honor exceptional individuals and initiatives that have made significant contributions to environmental conservation and sustainable practices.
Union Minister of Forest, Climate & Environment Change, Mr. Bhupender Yadav, was the Chief Guest and Minister of State, MoEFCC, Mr. Ashwini Kumar Choubey was the Guest of Honour. They were accompanied by DG Forests, Mr. CP Goyal, and Member Secretary, NTCA, Mr. S. P Yadav, who is also the President of the Indian Forest Service Officers’ Association.
Eco Warrior Awards 2023 was organised jointly by Indian Masterminds and Indian Forest Service Association, and the awards were sponsored by HPCL – a Maharatna company in oil and gas sector; GAIL – India’s leading Natural Gas Company; and Okiwana – Ye E Sahi Hai.
Watch the summary video of the awards.
The event commenced with a National Conclave on Forest and Wildlife Conservation, where IFS officers – Suneesh Buxy, Vivek Saxena, Saurabh Sharma, Bishwajit Mishra, Dr. Mohan Ram, Amit Anand, Millo Tasser, Parveen Kaswan, SK Awasthi, Sudha Ramen – and MD of Jungle Lodges & Resorts Ltd, Bengaluru, Mr. Manoj Kumar, offered their valuable suggestions.
The first award of the night was presented for the category ‘Forest Protection’ to Ms. Vasu Kanojia, DFO, North Seoni, Madhya Pradesh.
The second award was for ‘Wildlife Conservation’ and it was given to Dr. Mohan Ram for his exemplary work in wildlife conservation in Gir Forest, Gujarat.
The next award under the category of ‘Wildlife Protection’ went to Mr. Ritesh Sarothiya, Regional Deputy Director, NR, WCCB, Headquarters, MoEF&CC, Delhi.
The award for the ‘Best Use of Technology for Conservation’ went to Mr. Biswajit Mishra, currently serving as CCF, (CTI), in Bengaluru.
The last award for the evening was the ‘Award for Community Connect’ and it went to Mr. Millo Tassar, Conservator of Forests in Arunachal Pradesh.
Addressing the august gathering, Union Forest Minister Bhupender Yadav said that wildlife conservation is not just a service, it is a passion. “It is not just a service, it is a mission. Each one of you is a karmayogi. This is the Prime Minister’s message for you all,” he added.
The minister’s presidential speech was followed by the vote of thanks from Indian Masterminds Editor Sharad Gupta, who underlined the organisation’s journey and also elaborated on how the Eco Warrior Awards were conceived and realized.
He briefed the august gathering about the journey of the organisation since its birth during the pandemic in 2020. It was during the pandemic when Mr. Sharad Gupta and Mr. Prabhakar Singh, the Director of Indian Masterminds, decided to start Indian Masterminds to profile the bureaucrats and their good work, as a platform to celebrate excellence in Indian Bureaucracy by showcasing their inspiring stories and insights, and honouring the visionaries and changemakers. Mr. Gupta said, “We ended up doing around 300 plus stories on IFS officers alone, and it was then that we realised that there were no specific awards for them.”
He further said that the idea to constitute these awards was formed on April 5, while talking to IFS officer Mr. Saket Badola, the General Secretary of IFS Association. “He came up with this idea and we gave shape to it. And, 7-8 months of hard work has resulted in this,” he said, referring to the awards function.
The show came to an end with an enthralling live performance by India’s first international sand artist, Mr. Nitish Bharti.
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