Arti Kulkarni (IBN Lokmat)
Courtesy: Arti Kulkarni.
Month Year: December 2012
Wind Under the Wings Award
IBN Lokmat for enabling and encouraging Arti Kulkarni, Deputy Feature Editor, to combine and hone her talents as a journalist, filmmaker and conservationist.
Arti Kulkarni’s passion for wildlife and environmental issues has always burned bright. For over a decade, she has worked as a filmmaker and writer to spread awareness on these concerns. Her film, ‘Gaaj… Call of the Ocean’ was recognised both nationally and internationally, while her reports on illegal mining in Tadoba and the leopard crisis in Maharashtra revolutionised Marathi journalism by bringing environmental issues to the fore. Arti’s raw creativity and passion resonated within IBN Lokmat, where she has worked for the last five years as Deputy Feature Editor. Her campaign to protect the buffer zone of the Tadoba Tiger Reserve against illegal mining won her the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Award and led to the Central Government cancelling the leases that would have seriously impacted tigers. Other campaigns include exposés on thermal plants and chemical units that were polluting the Konkan region and the faulty siting of windmills much too close to the Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary. Her meticulously researched reports helped highlight the very real threat to flamingoes from the proposed Sewri Nhava Sheva Sea Link and the value of the mudflats of Thane Creek to Mumbai. Currently working on campaigns to protect the Western Ghats from iron ore mining, she has successfully raised awareness of the value of, and the threat to, the newly-declared Sahyadri Tiger Reserve, nearby forests in Maharashtra and the tiger forests of Goa. She has also started ‘Shekru – a journey for conservation stories’, a platform to create awareness about Maharashtra’s wildlife.
Arti Kulkarni has successfully earned a following. Lakhs of people have been educated and involved in the issues she has raised through responsible environmental reporting; to the extent that other television news channels have begun to emulate her example.
For this, we honour her and IBN Lokmat.
First published in: Sanctuary Asia, Vol XXXII No. 6, December 2012.