Bhubaneswar: Eminent activist, Prafulla Samantara of Odisha has been honoured with the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize 2017 on Monday.
He has been conferred with world’s most appraised prize for grassroots environmentalists at San Francisco for his longstanding anti-Vedanta campaign which compelled the company to halt its mining operation at Niyamgiri hills in the State.
It may be noted that Samantara led massive 12-year-long legal battle affirming Dongria Kondh’s land rights and protection of Niyamgiri hills from open-pit aluminum mining by Vendanta.
Rallies and demonstrations led by Samantara forced shutting down of bauxite operations. Subsequently, he stands as the 5th Indian to be honoured with the Goldman Environmental Prize.
Till date, only four Indians Medha Patkar, MC Mehta, Ramesh Agarwal and the duo Rashida Bi and Champa Devi Shukla have won the world’s largest prize which is also termed as ‘Green Nobel’.