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Green Nobel for Indian Environmental Activist
Apr 29, 2014

Indian environment activist Ramesh Agrawal has won the prestigious $175,000 Goldman Goldman Environmental Prize, also known as the Green Nobel. He is among six recipients of the largest award for grass-roots environmental activism, given annually by the Goldman Environmental Foundation.

In 2012, three months after when Ramesh Agrawal won a court case that blocked a major Indian company, Jindal Steel & Power Ltd, from opening a second coal mine near the village of Gare in the mineral-rich state of Chhattisgarh, a man walked into Ramesh Agrawal's tiny internet cafe, pulled out a pistol and fired two bullets into his left leg and fled on a motorcycle.

For a decade, Ramesh Agrawal, who has no formal legal training, has been waging a one-man campaign to educate illiterate villagers about their rights in fighting pollution and land-grabbing by powerful mining and electricity companies. He's won three law-suits against major corporations and has spearheaded seven more pending in courts.

The award was established in 1990 with a grant from philanthropists Richard and Rhoda Goldman to honour grass-root environmental activists in the six regions of Africa, Asia, Europe, Island Nations, North America and Latin America.

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