Pic courtesy: Namma Bengaluru Foundation

Namma Bengaluru Foundation hosted its flagship initiative – ‘Namma Bengaluru Awards’ (NBA) in Bengaluru today. NBA aims to recognizing, honouring and celebrating the efforts of Bengalureans for their unparalleled contributions towards the city, identified and honoured 6 ‘Real’ heroes of Bengaluru.
Presided by Hon’ble Justice Shivraj Patil as the Chief guest and Smt. Thara Anooradha, National Award recipient and a politician as the Brand Ambassador, the evening saw the winners of the Eighth edition awarded in the following categories:

- Jagannatha Rao for Government Official of the Year
- Geetha Menon for Citizen Individual of the Year
- Harshil Mittal for Rising Star of the Year
- Jasmeen Patheja for Social Entrepreneur of the Year
- Dhanya Rajendran for Media Individual of the Year

Dr. T V Ramachandra was honoured with 'Namma Bengalurean of the Year' award.

Since its inception in 2009, the award has operated in a transparent framework that encourages citizens to nominate extraordinary contributions by fellow Bengalureans. Thousands of nominations were received out of which 36 nominees were shortlisted across five 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, Sridhar Pabbisetty, CEO of Namma Bengaluru Foundation said, “Namma Bengaluru Foundation not only recognises 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 success have 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 jury members of the 8th edition of the awards are: Shri. Pradeep Kar, Dr. Sudarshan Ballal, Dr. Ashwin Mahesh, Shri. N S Mukunda, Shri. Murray Culshaw, Prof. G S Siddalingaiah, Shri. Jishnu Dasgupta, Shri.

Sajan Poovayya, Subhashini Vasanth, V Ravichandar, Vasanthi Hariprakash, T R Raghunandan, Thara Anooradha, Anita Reddy, Shri Prakash Belawadi, C N Kumar, Dr. Vishal Rao, Kishore S Rao and Amandeep Sandhu.

Justice Shivaraj Patil commemorated the winners and thanked Namma Bengaluru Foundation for its
efforts in recognizing the unsung heroes of Bengaluru.

Thara Anooradha, Brand Ambassador said, “We are really proud of the winners, these are the real
heroes whom we see on screen. Every year, Namma Bengaluru Awards introduces the citizens to six
unsung heroes whose efforts needs to be recognized and honoured.”

The details of the winners are as below:

Dr. T V Ramachandra – Namma Bengalurean of the Year

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

Jagannatha Rao - Government Official of the Year

Working as a Deputy Conservator of Forests and Lakes with the BBMP, Jagannatha Rao has for decades now tireless worked towards protecting our environment. Known for evicting encroachments and fencing 48 lakes in the city, he has actively involved the local communities and has educated them on how to preserve and maintain our lakes. In the past one year, Kalkere lake (area-186 acres), Challakere lake, Kempambudhi, Mahadevapura have been rejuvenated and developmental works are in progress in lakes such as Kundalahalli, Kodige Singasandra, Mangammanapalya and Basapura Lakes.

Geetha Menon – Citizen Individual of the Year

Co-founded by Geetha Menon in 1988, Stree Jagruti Samiti is an organisation based in Bangalore that
champions the cause of domestic workers and fights for their labour rights and employment benefits. It also rescues and rehabilitates domestic workers who are minors. The women of the organization have over the years focused on problems by rallying with smaller local groups of household helpers across the city and the state. The group also conducts science and art camps, child rights awareness workshops and adolescent health advisory sessions for children of domestic workers.

Harshil Mittal – Rising Star of the Year

A software engineer by profession, Harshil Mittal started an initiative Let’s Spread Love with an aim to
solve the daunting challenge of hunger through a simple idea of cooking a little extra food in every home.

Thanks to his initiative, underprivileged children and senior citizens across the city wait eagerly for the third Sunday of every month when they are treated to piping hot homemade food. Since its inception in October 2015, Harshil and his group have been able to feed over 1 lakh underprivileged people in Bengaluru.

Jasmeen Patheja – Social Entrepreneur of the Year

Jasmeen Patheja is the founder of Blank Noise, a community / Public art project that seeks to confront street harassment, commonly known as eve teasing in India. It addresses women's fear based relationship with their cities via direct street action and public interventions, which ask women to be "Action Heroes" by not being idle in public. It also works towards an attitudinal shift towards 'eve-teasing' and involves the public to take collective responsibility of the issue. Through street actions and dialogue, Blank Noise hopes to achieve its aims of achieving a safe and free environment for women on the streets, and enable society to become more egalitarian towards women in general.

Dhanya Rajendran – Media Individual of the Year

A veteran journalist, who has worked with India Vision, New Indian Express and Times Now, founded thenewsminute.com in 2014 along with Chitra Subramaniam and Vignesh Vellore. The News Minute is a digital news platform reporting and writing on issues in India, with a specific focus on the 5 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 short span of time.

Full disclosure:

Citizen Matters is the winner of Namma Bengaluru Awards in media category, for the year 2014.

This note was shared by Namma Bengaluru Foundation, and published here with minimal edits.