An Indian-American professor donates Rs. 1 crore to Bangalore trust

An Indian-American professor has donated the entire prize money of about Rs. 1 crore from a prestigious international sustainability award to a Bangalore-based trust working for ecology and environment that he helped found in 1996.

Kamal Bawa from Boston was recently awarded with the prestigious Gunnerus Sustainability Award from Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences and Letters (DKNVS).

The Gunnerus Sustainability Award is given for outstanding scientific work that promotes sustainable development globally, and the first award was given to Prof. Kamal Bawa for his work on biodiversity in Central America, the Western Ghats and the Himalayas.

At the acceptance ceremony, Prof. Bawa said it was unfortunate that almost all money in international assistance goes to projects rather than to strengthening institutions. Standing by his belief that “It is institutions that transform societies,” Prof. Bawa donated the award money to Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE).

“The gift is a fine example of philanthropy at its best. It also endorses Bawa's commitment to a better world, and to ATREE,” said Pheroza Godrej, a member of the governing board of ATREE.

Director ATREE Gladwin Joseph said, “The gift will help ATREE address important environmental challenges.”

ATREE was recently ranked number 19 globally, and number one in Asia among environmental thinktanks.