XLRI- Xavier School of Management is set to organize the 7th Dr. Verghese Kurien Memorial Orationin memory of the Founder of AMUL Dr. Verghese Kurien, popularly known as “the Milkman of India” on 16th January 2021.
This year, the oration isto be delivered in virtual mode by Noted Environmental ActivistAshish Kothari Founder-member of Indian Environmental group, Kalpavriksh. He would deliver the oration on the topic “Ecoswaraj: Recovery Towards Justice and Sustainability”.
Fr. P. Christie, S.J. Director of XLRI,commented, “Dr. Verghese Kurien was an ingenious thinker, a revolutionary, and a social entrepreneur who ideated the world’s biggest agricultural development program. It was his “billion-liter idea” which made dairy farming India’s largest self-sustaining industry, with benefits of employment, incomes, credit, nutrition, education, health, gender parity & empowerment, breaking down caste barriers and grassroots democracy and leadership. XLRI instituted the oration in his memory to commemorate his legacy through propagating and disseminating the idea of an empowered, equitable and sustainable society.”
Fr. Christie further commented, “We are extremely happy to have Mr. Ashish Kothari to deliver the 7th Dr. Verghese Kurien Memorial Oration this year. His vast work on environmental issues like environment interface, biodiversity policy, and alternatives would help our students understand the current global environmental issues and inspire them to work for the greater good.”
“Dr. Verghese Kurien Memorial Oration on Sustainable Development is our humble initiative to pay tribute to the great visionary,” said Prof. Raghuram Tata, Chairperson of XLRI’s Fr Arrupe Center for Ecology & Sustainability. “With this annual oration, we aim to inspire and inculcate values of social entrepreneurial spirit in budding business leaders and social entrepreneurs”, he added.
Ashish Kothari is an Indian environmentalist working on environment & development issues. He is one of the founders of Kalpavriksh, an Indian environmental NGO. He has been associated with peoples’ movements like Narmada Bachao Andolan and Beej Bachao Andolan. Kothari has also been a teacher of the environment at the Indian Institute of Public Administration, New Delhi. He has also been a guest faculty at several universities and institutes and Mellon Fellow at Bowdoin College, USA.
Ashish Kothari has been a member of Steering Committees of the World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) and IUCN Commission on Environmental, Economic, and Social Policy (CEESP) from 1998 to 2008. He has also been a co-chair IUCN Inter-commission Strategic Direction on Governance, Equity, and Livelihoods concerning Protected Areas (TILCEPA) from 1998 to 2008. Ashish Kothari has also served on the steering group or governing board of the CBD (Convention on Biodiversity) Alliance, the ICCA Consortium, and Greenpeace International. At present, he is the chairman Greenpeace India’s Board.
Ashish Kothari has also worked as members of quite a few Government of India committees, including Environmental Appraisal Committee on River Valley Projects of the Ministry of Environment and Forests, the committee to Assess Implementation of the Forest Rights Act, and Committees to draft design the National Wildlife Action Plan and India’s Biological Diversity Act. He coordinated the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan process in India commissioned by the Government of India. Kothari is currently coordinating the Vikalp Sangam (Alternatives Confluence) a process that provides a forum for organizations and individuals working on development alternatives across India to come together. Since early 2016 Ashish is co-coordinator of the Academic-Activist Co-produced Knowledge for Environmental Justice (ACKnowl-EJ) project, an international, multi-partner process sponsored by the International Social Science Council.