Chain Roop Dayma

Green Teacher Award (2008)

Chain Roop Dayma, or Guruji as he is known to his students, teaches at the government-run Teriwal Upper Primary School in Chhapar, Rajasthan. Here, close to the famous Tal Chhapar Sanctuary, on the fringes of the Thar Desert, this inspirational teacher welds students into a potent force for conservation. Using the power of satyagraha and collective pressure, he counters the influence of  salt miners who think nothing of destroying this arid wonderland. His wards perform shram daan, by uprooting the pernicious exotic Prosopis juliflora, which is wiping out the indigenous biodiversity of the region. This green teacher’s influence now extends to over 100 schools in the district where young children are being taught how to conserve water, protect endangered blackbuck and prepare for a life in an era of climate change.