Dr PU Antony

Green Teacher Award 2020

Long-time educator, inspiring youth leader and driven environmentalist

For nearly 32 years since 1988, Dr. P.U. Antony has served as an educator at CHRIST Deemed to be University, and in 2020, was recognised as a distinguished professor emeritus of Zoology. Beginning his career as a teacher in schools, Antony never failed to promote the pressing need for protecting our natural environment among students, a practice he later adopted at CHRIST. He has always focussed on holistic learning by encouraging his students to spend time outdoors and indulge in hands-on fieldwork. He has been part of wildlife surveys that assessed habitats across the country, and regularly contributes scientific articles to various national dailies such as Deccan Herald. He has joined as a panellist on discussions on television regarding environmental issues. Known for his cutting edge research in biodiversity, he has been awarded research projects from agencies like Quality Council of India, Japan Bank of International Cooperation and the National Referral Centre for Lead Poisoning in India.

In 2001, he founded Green Army, a student environmental group to conduct treks and field studies in and around Bengaluru. The group was quick to get involved in local activism and efforts to raise awareness. Over the years, Green Army has built a solid reputation for itself, and has been associated with the Pollution Control Board, Karnataka State Biodiversity Board, the Forest Department and other government departments. Dr. Antony’s students appreciate, observe and document wildlife around them, and have contributed to three books -- Guhanagari, Birds of Christ University Campus and Butterflies of Christ University Campus, and have been involved in citizen science projects, conducting the annual Global Backyard Bird Count in the campus and National Moth Week. In 2016, Green Army began efforts to restore Byrasandra lake. The Karnataka Lake Conservation and Development Authority appointed him to oversee management of the lake. In 2019, he launched the non-profit Forest Watch, which focusses on on-ground conservation and education in Wayanad, Kerala, where he was born and raised. Much of the team that makes up the organisation are his former students.

This stalwart environmentalist is truly an inspiring leader who is moulding India’s future.