India’s acclaimed Academician, Environmentalist, Developmental Activist and Political Scientist
Prof. K. Purushotham Reddy, an eminent environmentalist, academician and development activist of India was born in a farmer’s family on 14th February 1945. A multifaceted personality with many successes, widely known as man of the masses and environment, Professor’s long public life and activism spans across the environmental and developmental areas such as Sustainable Agriculture, Environmental Policies, and Public Policies on Sustainable Development, Panchayat Raj and Rural Development, Urban Studies, Restoration of damaged Eco-systems etc.
He received MA, MPhil and PhD degrees in Political Science from Osmania University. His PhD was on “Environmental Policy & Education-An Investigative Analysis of Eco-degradation of Patencheru in Andhra Pradesh.”
As an Academician
He held various academic positions in Osmania University as Professor, Head of the department, and Chairman Board of Studies in Political Science Department. He was the Director for Centre for Environmental Studies of the University. He was a source of inspiration for fellow academician and students. He calls the society as is his lab and most part of his life was dedicated for the cause of society and environment.
He is a resource person for many Universities and their Academic Staff Colleges in the state, MCRHRD, AP Judicial Academy, MIT School of Government Pune, ESCI, and Center for Cultural Resources Training (CCRT) etc.
President, Osmania University Teachers Association (OUTA)
Inherent leadership qualities of professor enabled him to lead the Osmania University Teachers Association as President for two consecutive terms i.e. 1996-1998 and 2000- 2002. He made a remarkable presence by making the OUTA, a visible forum of university teachers in the state. He successfully bridged the rift that was existing between OUTA and university Administration. He built confidence in all stakeholders of the institution. As a professor and at various capacities he set road maps, encouraged and gave source of inspiration for innumerable students, faculty and many others.
As India’s Eminent Environmentalist
A self made personality, he emerged as India’s one of the eminent environmentalists. His name has become synonymous with environment in the state of Andhra Pradesh. In thousands of forums he emphasized the importance of living with harmony with background ecosystems. The whole media followed him for two decades, given his style of struggles for the cause and also the importance of the issues. He works with the aim of making Environmental Studies and integrated, interdisciplinary stream, which helps in making the Earth Clean and Green. He swung in to action after Bhopal Gas disaster in 1984. Since then he carried out many land mark environmental struggles. Be believes that true development is sustainable development which is inclusive of entire ecosystems society. He popularized the dictums such as sustainable development, think globally act locally etc.
Professor is Founder President, Citizens Against Pollution (CAP), an Environmental Action Group established in 1985 and based in Hyderabad. As part of this group and independently worked for sustainable development policies that included activities in the areas like policy development exercises, campaigning and development of political agenda. New York Times on its February 6th 1991 edition regarded CAP as one of India's leading Environmental Action Groups. Following are few remarkable environmental struggles carried out by professor through CAP
Struggle against Nuclear Reactor
In 1987-88, launched a campaign against the establishment of a Nuclear Power Plant at Nagarjuna Sagar Dam. This is the only success story of its kind in India. People of four districts were mobilized for a massive public protest.
Struggle against Mechanized Slaughter Houses
In 1990, launched a struggle against two export oriented mechanized slaughter houses in Medak District, with the slogan – “Save Cattle - Save Nation”. Establishment of such mechanized slaughter houses resulted in the depletion of cattle population, thereby affecting the small farmers, environment and agriculture.
Struggles against Industrial Pollution
Clean Environment Campaigns: Ongoing struggles for the past 22 years on Gandhian Principles, striving to make environmental rights like Right to Clean Air, Right to Clean Water and Right to Livelihood a meaningful proposition.
In 1985, focused on Ground Water Pollution in Saroornagar. A Campaign that had initiated a number of similar actions against Industrial Pollution around Hyderabad.
Struggle against Industrial Pollution in Nacharam Industrial area in 1986.
From 1986 onwards launched a struggle against industrial Pollution in Patencheru. Educated and motivated the farming community to protect their lands from toxic pollution. The Supreme Court of India has extended an interim compensation to the affected farmers and the final decision on the compensation to be paid which had been valued at around Rupees Thirty Two Corers is awaited. “The Polluter pays” principle has been used in this case.
He has initiated Legal Struggles, which are as diverse as the travails of the people with the degraded environment and projects, which affect them adversely to mention few are:
Writ petition in the AP High Court seeking its intervention in connection with the spate of suicide deaths and to save the farmers of Andhra Pradesh from the clutches of indebtness. Also filed a complaint regarding the same matter with the National Human Rights Commission, New Delhi.
Several Public Interest Litigation (PIL) cases have been filed demanding Environmental Public Hearing (EPH) and adherence to rule of Law.
Writ Petition in AP High Court seeking direction to save 170 Lakes in Hyderabad Urban area. Appointed by the High Court as Member of the Expert Committee to prepare an action plan to protect Saroornagar Lake.
He was a Member of Expert Committee to advise the Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board (APPCB), Hyderabad, First Board of Directors, and Environment Protection Training Research Institute (EPTRI), Hyderabad, Member of the Environmental Education Committee of the A.P. State council of Higher education, and Expert Member of the A.P. State cloud seeding Project, Government of Andhra Pradesh.. Human rights commission of Andhra Pradesh appointed him as a member of the Special Committee on relocation of Bholakpur tanneries.
As Developmental Activist
The remarkable ability of understanding the issues, assessing the aspirations of masses, sensitizing the people for well being of society and exploring the solutions manifested in to successes of many complex social environmental, developmental issues. As an activist of sustainable development he carried out several movements. Following are few to mention….
Struggles for Water
Water Resources Development with a view to provide water to meet the drinking and irrigation needs of the people in the backward and drought prone regions of AP.
As Advisor, Veligonda Sadhana Samithi, sensitized the people of Prakasam District for the speedy implementation of this project.
As Secretary, Forum for Utilization of Godavari Waters, to meet the drinking water needs and to irrigate the parched lands in AP.
As Advisor, Jala Sadhana Movement in Nalgonda, since 1992 worked for the implementation of Srisailam Left Bank Canal (SLBC) now Madhav Reddy Canal and Sri Ram Sagar flood Flow Canal.
As Advisor, Jala Sadhana Movement in Mahabubnagar District, since 1994 worked for the implementation of Kalwakurthy, Bhima Phase I & II and Nettampadu Lift Irrigation Schemes over river Krishna. This effort will go a long way in arresting the desertification process in this region.
Campaign against Flourosis in Nalgonda and other districts of AP since 1987.
As a keen observer, and able leader he had an empathetic listening to the woes of Gangavaram fisherman and explored a meaning full win-win solution which was quoted by the then government of Andhra Pradesh in its GO issued on the matter.
As a Political Scientist
India freedom struggle has become his passionate topic as a student and teacher of political science. As a political scientist he constantly propagates the India’s inherent strengths and gandhian thoughts towards nation building process. Valuable Services of Professor have been utilized by Indian National Congress for professionalizing the cadres and in party building process. He was actively involved in Gandhipatham to spread the message of Gandhian principles for nation building.
Literary Contributions in Environment and Development
Professor Co-authored book entitled “Environmental Education” in 2002, Co-edited the “State of Environment in Andhra Pradesh- A Citizens’ Report” in 1990. He published more than 80 papers in National and International Journals. He is a regular Columnist in daily newspapers, contributing articles on various environmental and developmental issues.
Currently working on Public Policies, which would aim at sustainable development of India, and on alternative development models on the lines of World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) Report.
Organizing concerted struggles in order to build up pressure on the political system for evolving policies, which would make development more meaningful and sustainable.
Spreading massive awareness among the Youth to “Save the Planet “.
Following the dictum “Think Globally – Act Locally” conducting campaigns “Save Hyderabad” from the impending doom in terms of Environmental issues. In this regard, Area Action Committees are being set up to make the localities Clean and Green.
Honors to people’s man
He made an outstanding service for people and environment all the way of his life. As an activist he traversed length and breadth of the state of Andhra Pradesh and India. Professor addressed more than 3000 meetings on various issues which span from environmentalism to development. As earlier mentioned a staunch fallowed of Gandhian philosophy and true patriot he applied resilient tools and technologies of protest while he was leading the people for many common causes of society. He believes in inclusiveness, ecological harmony, simplicity, dialogue and education as tools of nation building. His simplicity can be described by the fact, though, he has made outstanding movements and great victories for the people and environment he attributes all his success to the kindness of god.
His multiple crusades for environment and development won him international attention. American Telugu Association (ATA) in 1992 has felicitated him at New York, for his monumental work of environmental activism and deep sense of concern and commitment for the sustainable development of the society. Apart from New York Times he was widely lauded in many platforms, forums, and in the media.