Professor Dr. G.D. Muratkar
Greeen Teacher Awards (2013)
Professor Dr. G.D. Muratkar He heads the Botany and Environmental Science Department of the Arts, Science and Commerce College at Chikhaldara, on the very edge of the Melghat Tiger Reserve. Despite budgets constraints and academic pressures he manages not merely to inspire his students but takes time to be with them in the wild, to instill in them a love of botany and a passion for our wild flora.
Over the past decades he has shaped hundreds of students and has infused them with knowledge and concern for one of the least noticed plant categories… grasses. His specific interest has been the study of grasslands in our sanctuaries and national parks and his work in protecting and studying the meadows of the Melghat Tiger Reserve, Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve, Pench Tiger Reserve, Nagzira Wildlife Sanctuary, Navegaon Bandh and Katepurna Sanctuary in Maharashtra and Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve, Pench Tiger Reserve, Sanjay-Dubri Tiger Reserve and Ralamandal Wildlife Sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh has greatly enhanced the productivity of these critical wildlife habitats to support larger numbers of herbivores. A prolific scholar, he has also authored two field books on the grasses and medicinal plants of Melghat. Indefatigable and impatient to communicate the vital importance of grassland conservation, he regularly works with the Maharashtra Forest Department to hold workshops and training programmes to raise the level of knowledge and skills of guards, foresters and officials at the Maharashtra Forest Rangers’ College in Chikhaldhara.
By enveloping young and old into his mission to understand, conserve and protect the grasslands of India, he has demonstrated the power that lies hidden in the minds and purpose of all green teachers.
For this, we honour him.