India just lost an eminent environmentalist and die-hard nation lover.
Anil Madhav Dave was an Indian environmentalist and politician. He was the Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Environment, Forest and Climate Change from 5 July 2016 – 18 May 2017.
We recall a few of his many qualities in respect to his memory –
He was a passionate environmentalist.
Dave ambitiously fought for the conservation of the Narmada river through his NGO Narmada Samgra where he was the Secretary. He was deeply, emotionally connected with the river. The river for him was a symbol of his faith, an entity that he worshipped profoundly. He carried out the circumambulation of the river on foot, through river rafting and by flying around it.
He was currently working on finding safe alternatives to carcinogenic Abestos. On 15 August 2016, in the strongest statement of India’s move towards an Asbestos-free country, Dave stated “Since the use of asbestos is affecting human health, its usage should gradually be minimised and ended. As far as I know, its use is declining, but it must end.”
He was an eminent scholar.
He wrote widely popular books on environment and spirituality.
Some of his noted works in Hindi were Srajan Se Visarjan Tak, Chandra Shekhar Azad, Shatabdi Ke Paanch Kale Panne, Narmada Samgra & Samgra Gram Vikas. In English, From Amarkantak to Amarkantak and Beyond Copenhagen received widespread acclaim.
He was a fierce nation lover.
At a recent Science Fest at the National Physical Laboratory in Delhi, he addressed school kids on the importance of using one’s mother tongue. He encouraged them to learn to sign in their native language and to not let anyone shame them for doing so.
He loved science.
As the Environment Minister, he attended numerous conferences on climate change abroad and wanted to inculcate his learnings to the development of science in India.
He was the first leader from Madhya Pradesh BJP to make it to Rajya Sabha for a third consecutive term.
Dave kept away from controversies. His brilliance was seen in his manner of governance and his journey from an RSS Swayamsevak to the Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
He was a licensed commercial pilot.
Dave held a commercial pilot license and he flew over the Narmada River stretch as a part of a campaign to spread information and awareness about the issues related to the river.
He was a visionary.
He played an important part in the success of the World Hindi Conference held in Bhopal in 2015 and the ideological conference, Vaicharik Mahakumbh held during Simhastha at Ujjain this year.
He made a sweet request in his will.
He made an unusual request in his will to the people of India, reflecting his passion for the environment –
“If you want to cherish my memories, plant trees and save them. This would give me pleasure.”
Needless to say, the nation will remember his teachings and strive to take his missions forward.