As climate change becomes a matter of global concern, this year’s Right every Wrong Conclave focused on related issues and opportunities. The discussions were centered around the impact of climate change on industry, economy, ecosystems, agriculture, rural migration, forest conservation and watershed management.
Jerry Almeida, the co-founder of iCONGO inspired the august gathering at the occasion with his words, “Together as ONE we can RIGHT every WRONG”. Referring to yesterday’s earthquake in Delhi he said, “this is another cruel example of the impact of climate change on earth and environment. At present saving Earth is the mother of all issues and that is why we have chosen the topic this year”.
The conclave was followed by ICONGO Annual Karmaveer Puraskaar, iCONGO National People’s Award for Social Justice and Action that honor concerned citizens who have been and led the change they wanted. Ad guru and social activist Alyque Padamsee and Dr Leo Rebello, a world-renowned authority on AIDS and alternative medicine, were conferred with the Karamveer Puraskar for Lifelong Fight for Social Justice and Action. Actor Rahul Bose, artist Remo Fernandes and Sushma Veer, founder of ‘Akansha’, were given The Artist for Change Awards for using their popular status to render more visibility to a cause for possible solutions. Bose has been involved with providing relief and support people in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. His NGO, The Foundation, is also actively involved in combating discrimination. Karamveer Puraskar for Lifetime Achievment Award went to Dr M S Swaminathan, ‘Father of the Green Revolution in India, for agriculture.
Karamveer Puraskar for a Sportsperson for Change went to badminton player Gopichand Pullela for refusing a lucrative endorsement for a big cola company, insisting that values were more important than money and to Mahesh Bhupati, 10 times Grand-Slam winner and Padmashree awardee, together with his wife Shvetha Bhupathi. The couple had started FIST (Foundation of Indian Sporting Talent) that supports young people who have the potential to become tennis champions.
The ICONGO Young Creative Citizen Karamveer Puraskar, a poster making competition, was jointly shared by Ankur Garg, an art director by profession and winner of the Maneka Gandhi Award for Care for Street Animals, and copywriter Vivek Kumar Singh. The ICONGO Corporate Citizen in CSR Karamveer Puraskar went to Mamta Saikia, Head of CSR, Bharti Telecommunications. The ICONGO Corporate Citizen in IT Karmaveer Puraskar was awarded to Sridhar Reddy, Founder of the Pioneer Group.
Actor and filmmaker Revathy and freelance journalist Altaf Ahmad were awarded the ICONGO-CMS Media Citizen Karamveer Puraskar for being instrumental in creating best practices in media, promoting social issues and sensitizing people to the cause. The Awards also recognized the contribution of children towards social issues. The Kids for Change Karamveer Puraskar was given to Benzy, a mentally challenged girl, who is able to express herself solely through her music, and Akhil Akkineni, who acted in a film called ‘Sisindri’
The conclave encompassed issues and opportunities vis-à-vis climate change, whether or not carbon tax be imposed on consumers, impact of climate change on ecosystems, impact of climate change on agriculture and food security, impact on rural migration, forest preservation, watershed management, sustainable development for good corporate governance and much more.
This two day National Conclave intended to empower stakeholders of the society to identify the causes and understand the significance and scale of the impact of climate change, and work out methods of dealing with it at an individual, local, national and international level. This also provided platform for people from various backgrounds to get together and have output oriented discussions over the burning issue of climate change and the risks that India is facing due to it. By presenting a holistic picture on these issues, the Conclave aimed to provide the society with a logical and unbiased view of the issue of climate change and the underlying solutions for the same. Networking with Corporate Heads, CSR Heads, NGO Heads and other Leaders of Change accentuated this combined effort. Environmentalists and activists who have actually worked on these issues and are able and ready to share the truth about climate change and its expected impact participated in the event.
Key celebrities and leaders supporting the cause and participated in the conclave were Rahul Bose (Actor), Remo Fernandes (Artist), Revathy (Actor/ Film-maker), Anwesh Bose (Business Director, Dentsu) and Mamta Saikia (CSR Head, Bharti Telecom).
The artists that performed live were Bobby Cash, Remo Fernandes, Baby Benzy, Akhil Akkineni, Divakar Singh, Imraan Khan and Visually impaired children from Samarthanam.
Key Speakers that addressed the conclave included Mr. S.V. Sista, Founding Chairman iCONGO; Jerry Almeida, Co- Founder iCONGO; Mr. Pavan Sukhdev MD Global market Division, Deutsche Bank; Mr. Navtej Johar, Environmentalist;
The conclave was more of an effort to boost the process to combat climate change by India. Unlike western societies that have waited to tackle environmental issues only after having reached a certain level of prosperity, the conclave promotes the idea that India should address them even though it is at a lower level of income. India cannot afford to wait for similar western levels of prosperity before addressing the issues. In fact, all sectors of society have to pay attention to environmental concerns. India has to go the extra mile. Civil society and NGOs should not only highlight problems but should also be in the forefront of providing solutions. The corporate sector also has to play a leading role, as there will be more economic activity by them. There should be public private participation for the creation of public goods. The land use patterns and property rights should be defined properly. Public transport, water supply, sanitation and waste management have to be managed better. Appropriate technologies for irrigation, improving water use management and public transport should be devised. There is a need to integrate climate change concerns in a sustainable development framework. India needs to create a framework for itself that the rest of the world can emulate.
Our climate is changing – both in India and round the world. Because of man-made pollution that traps the sun’s heat, the planet may never have warmed as fast as it has in the past 25 years. This is going to affect us all, and the evidence of the first signs of climate change is all around us. The conclave is addressing the immediate need of the hour, i.e, fighting the climatic change.
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