Media veteran B N Kumar has been nominated the Revolutionary Comrade Shiv Varma Media Award 2022-23 for his writings and contribution to the field of environmental protection.
He shares the award with Suresh Nautiyal of Uttarakhand who was among founders of the India Greens Party, registered with the Election Commission of India.
People’s Mission is a Companies Act-registered not-for-profit company with professionals such as doctors, literati, journalists, economists, agriculture and environment specialists, trade union workers, book publishers and distributors on its board of directors.
The organisation set up the awards in memory of Shiv Verma 1997-1997, an associate of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, who was sentenced to ‘Kaala Paani’ jail at Andaman & Nicobar Islands. He was among the few freedom fighters who survived the British rulers torture in the jail.
Media veteran B N Kumar, BNK for friends, has about 45 years of experience and has been running campaigns on civic issues and environment for quite some time. He floated environment-focused not-for-profit company NatConnect Foundation and masterminded #MissionMumbaiLocal focusing on the woes of suburban commuters, #SaveParsikHills on the need to stop the highly polluting stone quarrying in the heart of Navi Mumbai and save the hills and #SaveMMRbiodiversity highlighting the destruction of mangroves and wetlands. The authorities took cognisance and filed FIRs in at least three cases. In association with Mumbai Press Club, BNK and NatConnect launched drives such as #OurCityOurDuty. On the civic issues his creative campaign #SarUthakeThuko has garnered eyeballs across the nation with The Hindu in Bangalore featuring the menace of spitting in public places. He recently floated another platform ACT – Alert Citizens’ Team – to work on civic issues and successfully spoke about the menace of hoardings that block the view of traffic signals. The campaign had its impact with the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation pulling down the hoarding within 24 hours of ACT raising the issue. #ScrapVashiTollNaka is his latest campaign to highlight the unending traffic jams running up to 20 minutes at Mumbai entry point.
Reacting to the announcement, BNK said he dedicates it to the teams of fellow environment crusaders such as Nandakumar Pawar, Sunil Agrawal, Nareshchandra Singh and Jyoti Nadkarni. “We have miles to go, but together we shall succeed in spreading public awareness about the assault on the environment,” he said.
BNK started his career as a cub reporter in Hyderabad, while doing his Journalism course form Osmania University, during the Emergency. He worked with Free Press Journal, UNI, Mid-Day, Indian Express, Business India and contributed to several major publications such as Sunday, Onlooker and The Week. He also had a stint in corporate communication and PR with Reliance, O&M PR, Capital Images and finally Concept PR. He also headed the Public Relations Council of India (PRCI).