Dr. Anil Prakash Joshi

THE sunshine for the uplands

Going back to the subject of greatness, it isn’t possible to achieve without stepping out of one’s comfort zone. But Dr. Anil courageously quit his job as a Reader in the Government P.G. College and plunged himself whole-heartedly into research and development work for Rural communities. He formed a voluntary organization entitled Himalayan Environmental Studies and Conservation Organization (HESCO) and concentrated on need-based science and technology developments and their application for the mountain regions.

Dr. Anil firmly believes that utilizing local resources can only bring sustained economic development in rural India. His slogan “Local need meet locally” was a step to make rural India economically independent. Thus, the development of local resources, upgraded wisdom, and local markets have been his focal approach. These efforts were designed to bring about a decentralized economy and have shown tremendous results. For example, thousands of water millers in the mountain areas have adopted his technology to revive abandoned watermills. This activity has ignited a mini revolution in states like J&K, H.P., and Uttarakhand.

The righteous man inspired local shrines to promote offerings made of local crops to address forward and backward linkage. He has motivated various shrines, especially Vaishno Devi, Badrinath, Kedarnath, Yamunotri, Gangotri, where offerings (Prasad) made from local grains promoting local crops and economy. The turnover in the Vaishno Devi Shrine is four-five million, generating employment for hundreds of women. Uttarakhand Government has adopted the same and has initiated the same in six- hundred-and-twenty- five temples.

He developed many orchards involving the local community, generating employment and helping in reusing barren land. His approach towards an “ecology inclusive economy” has drawn the attention of planners and policymakers.

Dr. Anil’s effort has brought employment to hundreds of women and youth across various Himalayan states. In addition, he successfully organized the “Himalayan Fruit Processing Association.” This organization interexchange resources knowledge and collectively markets their produce. He also initiated WISE (Women’s Initiative for Self-Employment), a social platform for women to generate employment and marketing opportunities and address other economy-related issues. The major strength of this group is to develop its own mechanism for loaning, production, and marketing.

Another program popularly known as TIP (Technology Initiative for Peace) was instituted by Dr. Anil, which engaged the assistance of the Indian Army security forces and the Ministry of Youth Welfare. This program has been instrumental in bringing a revolution in the villages of the border areas.

Recently, Dr. Anil created Integrated Village in different agro-climatic zones. These villages in Uttarakhand, now thirty-eight, have been developed within the available resources through S&T intervention. If not for his love for humankind, other concepts and initiatives like “Adopt a Village,” “Ideal Village” for the scheduled caste community, upgrading rural artisans have also varied populations.

One of his significant contributions has been to rejuvenate streams and springs. His tools to regenerate these water bodies have essentially been through understanding the science of Nature. Today hundreds of springs and streams are recharged by various organizations through a protocol developed by Dr. Joshi.

The Himalayan day is celebrated on 9th of September every year as a tribute to this significant entity. Millions of people celebrate Himalayan Day. Dr. Joshi has been the force behind this celebration.

Dr. Joshi has undertaken various cycle yatra of thousands of kilometers to develop understanding and knowledge sharing for Rural India.

It is difficult to enlist the plethora of profiles Dr. Anil carries, including publishing a children’s newspaper called “Baccho ka Akhbar,” distributed in over three thousand villages in the mountains.

His work is recognition-worthy, which he did receive. A recipient of Jawahar Lal Nehru Award by the Indian Science Congress, 1999, Padma Shree Award, 2006; Jamnalal Bajaj, 2006; Real Heroes Award by CNN-IBN and Reliance, 2008; Heroes of Hopes Award by Times of India, 2010, and the Padma Bhushan award, 2020, to name a few of the many awards that commend.

His limitless efforts to bring Gross Environmental Product (GEP) as an ecological growth measure of the state was accepted by the High Court. As a result, on 5th June 2021, the Government of Uttarakhand has accepted the GEP measure in the state. This is the first time in the world when Annual Ecological Growths will be measured parallel with GDP, all thanks to Dr. Anil’s innovation.

Dr. Joshi, who joined the TV show “Kaun Banega Crorepati,” left his indelible mark there too. Through the show, he attracted the attention of the whole country towards environmental protection. Dr. Anil Prakash Joshi is not just a ray, but THE sunshine for the uplands!

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