Six new unsung heroes honored at Namma Bengaluru Awards

March 12th, 2017: Namma Bengaluru Foundation hosted itsflagship initiative – ‘Namma Bengaluru Awards’ (NBA) in Bengaluru today. NBA aims torecognizing, honouring and celebrating the efforts of Bengalureans for their unparalleled contributions towards the city, identified and honoured6 ‘Real’ heroes of Bengaluru.

Presided byHon’ble Justice ShivrajPatilas the Chief guest and Smt. TharaAnooradha, National Award recipient and a politician as the Brand Ambassador, the evening sawthe winners of the Eighth edition awarded in the following categories:

-         Mr. Jagannatha Rao for Government Official of the Year

-         Mrs. Geetha Menon for Citizen Individual of the Year

-         Mr. Harshil Mittal for Rising Star of the Year

-         Mrs. JasmeenPathejafor Social Entrepreneur of the Year

-         Mrs. DhanyaRajendranfor Media Individual of the Year


Dr. TV Ramachandra was honoured withthecoveted “NammaBengalurean of the Year” award.


Since its inception in 2009, the award has operated in a transparent framework that encourages citizens to nominate extraordinary contributionsby fellow Bengalureans. Thousands of nominations were received out of which 36 nominees were shortlisted across 5 categories. The focus of this year’s awards was on individuals who with their exceptional work have made a difference in the city.


Talking about the awards, Mr. Sridhar Pabbisetty, CEO of Namma Bengaluru Foundation said, “Namma Bengaluru Foundation not only recognizes such remarkable citizens but we also work along with jewels of the city and various communities to be champions of change to build a better Bengaluru. In 2016 we worked on several issues that plague our city including lake protection, protecting our public lands, sustainable transport and improved urban planning processes. The significant successhave been possible due to our continued focus on our core principles of Advocacy, Partnership and Activism.”


The nomination process which began on November 2016 was open for a span of one month. The jury, which consisted of eminent and celebrated citizens of Bengaluru, interacted with every single finalist, then decided upon the final winner after a due diligence. The entire process was monitored and supervised by renowned audit firm - KPMG. 

The jurymembers of the 8th edition of the awards are: Shri. Pradeep Kar, Dr.SudarshanBallal,  Dr. Ashwin Mahesh,Shri. N S Mukunda, Shri. Murray Culshaw, Prof. G S Siddalingaiah, Shri. JishnuDasgupta,Shri. Sajan Poovayya, Smt. Subhashini Vasanth, Shri. V Ravichandar, Smt.VasanthiHariprakash, Shri. TR Raghunandan, Smt. TharaAnooradha, Smt. AnitaReddy, Shri Prakash Belawadi, Shri CN Kumar, Dr. Vishal Rao, Shri. Kishore SRao and Shri. Amandeep Sandhu.


Justice ShivarajPatilcommemorated the winners and thanked NammaBengaluru Foundation for its efforts in recognizing the unsung heroes ofBengaluru.


Smt.TharaAnooradha,Brand Ambassador said, “We are really proud of the winners, theseare the real heroes whom we see on screen. Every year, Namma Bengaluru Awardsintroduces the citizens to six unsung heroes whose efforts needs to berecognized and honoured.”


Thedetails of the winners are as below:


Dr. TV Ramachandra –NammaBengalurean of the Year


Holding a doctorate in Ecology and Energy from IndianInstitute of Science, Dr TV Ramachandra has contributed to the rejuvenation ofseveral lakes in Bengaluru. He has contributed in setting up the Bioremediationmodel at Jakkur Lake and has also helped in the plantation of a mini forestwith 45 Western Ghats species, which has led to improved ground water levelfrom 150 feet to 10 feet. He has published over 252 research papers in reputedpeer reviewed international and national journals, 50 book chapters, 242research papers in the international and national symposiums as well as 16books. In addition, he has delivered several plenary lectures at national andinternational conferences. Publication titled "Milking diatoms forEnergy" is seminal work in biofuel research evident from reports inScientific American, BBC, national dailies, etc.


Mr. Jagannatha Rao - GovernmentOfficial of the Year


Working as a Deputy Conservator of Forests and Lakes withthe BBMP, Jagannatha Rao has for decades now tireless worked towards protectingour environment. Known for evicting encroachments and fencing 48 lakes in thecity, he has actively involved the local communities and has educated them onhow to preserve and maintain our lakes. In the past one year, Kalkere lake(area-186 acres), Challakere lake, Kempambudhi, Mahadevapura have beenrejuvenated and developmental works are in progress in lakes such asKundalahalli, KodigeSingasandra, Mangammanapalya andBasapura Lakes.


Mrs. Geetha Menon – CitizenIndividual of the Year


Co-founded by Geetha Menon in 1988, StreeJagrutiSamiti isan organisation based in Bangalore that champions the cause of domestic workersand fights for their labour rights and employment benefits. It also rescues andrehabilitates domestic workers who are minors. The women of the organizationhave over the years focused on problems by rallying with smaller local groupsof household helpers across the city and the state. The group also conducts scienceand art camps, child rights awareness workshops and adolescent health advisorysessions for children of domestic workers.


Mr. Harshil Mittal – Rising Starof the Year


A software engineer by profession, Harshil Mittal startedan initiative Let’s Spread Love with an aim to solve the daunting challenge ofhunger through a simple idea of cooking a little extra food in every home.Thanks to his initiative, underprivileged children and senior citizens acrossthe city wait eagerly for the third Sunday of every month when they are treatedto piping hot homemade food. Since its inception in October 2015, Harshil andhis group have been able to feed over 1 lakh underprivileged people inBengaluru.


Ms. JasmeenPatheja – SocialEntrepreneur of the Year


JasmeenPathejais the founder of Blank Noise, a community/ Public art project that seeks to confront street harassment, commonly knownas eve teasing in India. It addresses women's fear based relationship withtheir cities via direct street action and public interventions, which ask womento be "Action Heroes" by not being idle in public. It also workstowards an attitudinal shift towards 'eve-teasing' and involves the public totake collective responsibility of the issue. Through street actions anddialogue, Blank Noise hopes to achieve its aims of achieving a safe and freeenvironment for women on the streets, and enable society to become moreegalitarian towards women in general.


Mrs. DhanyaRajendran – MediaIndividual of the Year


A veteran journalist, who has worked with India Vision,New Indian Express and Times Now, founded in 2014 along withChitra Subramaniam and Vignesh Vellore. The News Minute is a digital newsplatform reporting and writing on issues in India, with a specific focus on the5 southern states. The content includes news, ground reportage, news analysis,opinions and aggregations. With their deep access in the southern states, TNM,headquartered in Bengaluru has emerged as a credible news portal in a shortspan of time.


About Namma Bengaluru Awards

The Namma Bengaluru Awards is NammaBengaluru Foundation’s effort to recognize and honor outstanding individuals fortheir contribution towards making Bengaluru a better place to live in. Theseawards truly are the city’s way of saying ‘Thank You’ to its Real heroes. Thisinitiative also aims to encourage citizens to emulate the efforts of theseheroes to make meaningful differences to fellow Bengalureans.


About Namma Bengaluru Foundation

Founded and supported byRajya Sabha member Shri. Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Namma Bengaluru Foundation workstowards making Bengaluru a model city, with well-planned infrastructure, welllaid out neighborhood community models and people-driven governance measures.NBF aims to be the voice of the people; a voice that needs to be heard forBengaluru to become a truly Global City.

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