Sunday, March 9, 2014

Registrations will open shortly...

King Cobra and Western Ghats

by Gowrishankar


What started as curiosity and love for reptiles became the forte of this herpetologist. Gowri Shankar started handling snakes at the age of 13 and now uses this skill to explore the undiscovered grounds of the reptilian world. With over a decade long experience studying king cobras in captivity and wild, Gowri Shankar, is currently enrolled as a PhD candidate at the North Orissa University and a visiting student at Centre for Ecological Sciences, IISc. 

His primary interest and passion are snakes especially king cobras. He was instrumental in initiating the pioneering radio telemetry study on king cobras and was able to discover the secret life of king cobras. This was also filmed under the same title by National Geographic Channel in 2008. As part of the Kālinga Centre for Rainforest Ecology, Agumbe he conducts workshops and camps targeted at diverse audiences to initiate, substantiate and facilitate environmental education.  

'Change' is constant and so is the 'struggle for survival' of our forests. The Western Ghats, a biodiversity ‘hottest’ hot spot is home to a wide array of endemic species. With these pristine forests now only a mere strand on the Western Coast and fast depleting, one can imagine the plight of its denizens.

King cobras, apex predators among reptiles are indicators of the richness of the forests. King cobras are snake eaters, are the longest venomous snakes in the world and are the only snakes that are known to build nests for their eggs. Through this talk he will take you on a journey into their majestic lives, help understand their struggle with us humans, research already underway and what action is needed of you!

Leopards - 21st Century

by Sara

Sara freelances as a wildlife and documentary cameraman, shooting documentaries for channels like National Geographic and the BBC. When not traveling on assignments he loves to get back to his still-photography.He enjoys working with lights and it gives him more and more satisfaction to make images, rather than just take them. 

He also love to teach. Whenever he finds the time he tries to conduct  workshops, especially for beginners.  All his photography and cinematography is self -taught. 
He has his photo studio in Chennai and is slowly being drawn into fine-art nature photography. His work can be seen at 

He will be screening his film "Leopards- 21st century" and will share his experiences about the shoot.

The Third Curve 

by Mansoor H Khan

 "Sunday, March 9th - 12 Noon"

An alumnus of IIT Mumbai, Cornell University, and M.I.T, Boston, Mansoor Khan began his career as a film-maker and went on to make feature films that won several national awards. In 2003, he moved to Coonoor, to realize his life’s aspiration of starting a self-supporting, organic farm. Spread over 22 acres, the farm, Acres Wild, plays host to those seeking an alternative life-style experience.

The Third Curve – The End of Growth as we know it’ is the outcome of Mansoor’s own journey, an extensively researched piece of work that examines the co-relation between the compulsions of economic growth and the limits imposed on us by Nature. Questioning the efficacy of the modern industrial world, The Third Curve unfolds truths that civilization might perforce have to accept not merely as a possibility but as a way of life.

Mansoor has delivered lectures on various aspects of The Third Curve at institutions like the CEO Club, Bangalore; Indian School of Business, Hyderabad; Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore; The Energy & Resource Institute, New Delhi; and The Foreign Services Institute, New Delhi. The Third Curve is part one of a trilogy that includes a second work of non-fiction which examines the pathogenic nature of civilization. The trilogy culminates into a fictional novel that shares this understanding with a wider audience.

Documenting outdoor experience & Writing on Nature

by S. Theodore Baskaran

S.Theodore Baskaran is a trustee of WWF India.
He was an Honorary Wildlife warden for Chennai and the South India representative of the International Primate Protection League.  He was involved in Wildlife Education through camps and nature-related activities. His book The Dance of the Sarus: Essays of a Wandering Naturalist (Oxford University Press) was published in 1999.  Last year he edited the book The Sprint of the Blackbuck published by Penguin. He writes on conservation in The Hindu and Frontline.

He writes in Tamil in magazines like Uyirmmai and Kalachuvadu. He has written two Tamil books on conservation. He believes that to make conservation a people’s movement you have to have that discourse in Tamil.
Baskaran was a Former Chief Postmaster General, Tamilnadu and he lives in Bangalore.

The Person or the Challenge

by S. Vaidyanathan

 Saturday - March 8th - 3.00 pm

S Vaidyanathan is the co-founder of The Ganga Trust, which supports rehabilitation of physically challenged, Spinal Care India and Running For Ability. He is a Peer Counselor at the outstanding Mary Verghese Institute of Rehabilitation, a part of Christian Medical College (CMC), Vellore. He is an alumnus of Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore and has worked with The Hindu and Sundaram Finance groups. Aaghavendiyatha Paaru - look ahead - is his life mantra. His interests are M S Subbulakhsmi, music, sports, movies, positive news, social media and marathons. He is now working on setting up a National Spinal Cord Injury Organisation.

Mr Vaidyanathan will speak on the topic - "The Person or The Challenge", looking back at society attitudes in 20-plus years of living with a spinal cord injury.

Ethics and Wildlife Photography

by T Murugavel


T Murugavel is Professor and Head of the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, at SVCE. He is associated with several organisations related to nature and  wildlife conservation. He volunteers his services to EMAI as its Project coordinator. He has been involved in photo  documentation of flora and fauna of India for several years now. He is a columnists and writer of popular articles on nature. He is also a Bio philatelist whose collections on snakes and conservation of nature have won national awards. 

Murugavel will speak on the topic - "Ethics and Wildlife Photography". Wildlife photography involves constant interaction with nature and its components It demands a lot a patience and understanding of nature from the photographer. No or minimal disturbance to the subject is expected.This presentation aims to highlight the importanance of ethics  and gives some basics dos and dont's in wildlife photography and filmaking.

Garbage is Nobody’s business
How to make it as Everybody’s Business

       by Dr.(Ms.) Mangalam

Founder and managing trustee of Exnora Green Pammal, Ms. Mangalam Balasubramanian holds master's degrees in nutrition, sociology and Hindi, and a doctorate in nutrition. From 1971 to 1984 she worked as chief nutritionist for USAID in India, coordinating 3500 maternal and child health Centres (MCH) nationwide programme, converting PL480 programme into Nutrition Education Centres. In 1984, she joined Indian Social Institute, New Delhi, as director of their women's development programme. From 1985 to 2003, she worked for DANIDA, under Danish Embassy as a senior programme officer for primary health care projects, and as chief advisor to the Tamil Nadu Women in Agriculture Programme which trained 6,00,000 women marginal farmers. From 2003 to 2005, she served as a resource person for the Tamil Nadu Empowerment and Poverty Reduction Project, and as an agricultural consultant for the Tamil Nadu Corporation for the Development of Women, responsible for designing and implementing agricultural training for 25,000 women farmers. She is also an approved and empanel member for conducting Environment Impact Assessment for Ministry of Environment and Forests approved projects.

Under Ms. Balasubramanian's pioneering leadership, Exnora Green Pammal has become a widely-recognized role model for solid waste management, and an award-winning example of public private partnership. Exnora Green Pammal has replicated its waste management practices in over a dozen Indian localities in partnership with local administrations and residents, improving public health, protecting the environment, and demonstrating that the government's municipal solid waste management regulations are workable, relevant and effective. For her achievements she has earned several awards including "Sutru Suzha Kavalar" award in June 2013 from TNPCB, "Servant of the Poor" from the Confederation of NGOs of Rural India and several others.

Species Identification, Recovery and Reintroduction. Loss of Actual Biodiversity

by Arun Krishnamurthy

Arun is an Environmentalist and Communication Professional who runs The Environmentalist Foundation of India and Krish Info Media. EFI is an environmental conservation group focusing on wildlife conservation and habitat restoration. EFI is spread across 9 cities Delhi, Lucknow, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Vishakapatnam, Coimbatore, Pondicherry and Chennai. 

Current and Upcoming Projects of  EFI & KIM:
Lake Restoration
Bio Diversity Parks
Sparrow Reintroduction
Zoo Volunteering
EFI has a mobile animal ambulance in Chennai and is currently building an animal rescue center one each in Chennai and Hyderabad.
Environment Documentary Films made by EFI & KIM include the award winning “Elixir Poisoned” & “Kurma”
EFI & KIM are also a stage/street theater group
360 Degree creative communication for businesses through KIM.

Rolex Award For Enterprise - 2012
Youth ActionNet Global Fellow - 2012
Google Social Impact Award – 2011
British Council Active Citizens - 2011
British Council Climate Champion Excellence Award – 2011
The Jane Goodall Institute International Youth Leadership Award – 2010
International Visitor Leadership (IVLP – 2010) – U.S State department
Rotary Vocational Service Excellence Award (Eco Conservation.)

Getting Started with Birding

by Sagar

  "Sunday- March 9th"

Sagar is an avid birdwatcher and outdoor enthusiast. He has been observing birds about 10 years now, predominantly by himself. Most of what he knows about birds is by observing them with the help of field guides. He tries to learn & gather snippets whenever he gets the chance to go bird watching with professionals. He hates the camera, and loves running & sleeping.

He will enlighten us about choosing bird watching as a hobby, the common birds that we can sight and go into some details about these birds, and finally about bird watching equipment & field guides.

Nature & Wilderness in art form

by Dr Srinivasan

 "Saturday - Mar 9 - 10.00 am"

Dr. Srinivasan Periathiruvadi, Chairman of the not for profit Jeevan Blood Bank and Jeevan Stem Cell Bank is a self taught nature photographer. His pictures are certainly story telling and makes you feel in the zone of wild and most importantly aesthetically very much appealing. He is been more than passionate over the last 25 years in this incredible genre of nature photography. His images can be seen at

Sevai Karangal, in service of the less privileged

by Thilak Raj

Service has always been my passion, from young hood till now. Initially I collected old clothes and rice, gave it to the homes .I have visited home to help the kids with their ablutions and have taken classes for underprivileged home and students.

Sevaai karangal:
Wanted to start an orphanage, So I started visiting many orphanages and found that few orphanages are lacking capital and infrastructure to provide efficient service to the underprivileged society. Like a side of a coin ,There were orphanages which had surplus fund and on the other side,Some orphanages were out of fund to cater the inmate’s appetite.I Wanted to channelize this. So dropped the plan of starting an orphanage and started ‘Sevai Karangal’, an organization to uplift the homes which receive less funds.

Practicing mediation from ‘94. Completed the master’s course and also teaching it. Have conducted classes for students, govt. Staff and corporate employers. Conducted sessions on various captions like Goal setting, Time management, leadership qualities etc.  Later I composed these topics into a personality development program.Have provided training to corporate employees and students.

Participated, co-organized, organized many cleanup, awareness wildlife campaigns. ‘Save Tada’ a clean up drive at Tada falls, couples of Mega beach cleanup program  covering 15 km of Chennai coast, starting from the marina and till Injambakkam by CTC where more than 2400 volunteers participated.  The motto of beach cleanups and awareness campaigns were the main is to create awareness among the public not to litter.

Roof Gardening, Vermi-composting, Tree plantation

by S. Indra Kumar

Indra's life objective is to serve the community by providing guidance for better environment. He serves as a Senator, Exnora International and is President of Exnora Home. 

He has been passionate for the past 20 years on tree plantations, harvesting vermi-compost at home through garbage bin and pots. He has conducted seminars on better living conditions in corporates, NGO's, public sector, schools and colleges. He conducts workshops with HOME Exnora and guides individuals to implement the process in their homes for better environment.

Indra completed a certification courses on gardening, water harvesting and workshop on decentralized composting in India.

Observing nature from behind the fence

by Erode Nagaraj

Erode Nagaraj, a well known mrudangam artiste (performer-teacher) in India and abroad is a prime disciple of Sangeetha Kalanidhi Padmavibhushan Umayalpuram Sri K.Sivaraman. Nagaraj is an A Grade artiste and works as lecturer in The Music Academy.

Nagaraj is a wheel chair user. Affected by Polio in the early 70’s he learnt not to fight his disability but to accept the package that was destined to him. He loves mountains, valleys, rivers, oceans, woods and wild life, birds and every element of nature and he has a special love for elephants.

In concert tours whenever possible he looks for places of nature and tries to understand the life and being of the flora and fauna around him from the boundaries upto where there is  access for wheel chair (which is denied in many places). Nagaraj, apart from a performing artist, is an avid reader and writer and strongly opinionated regarding disability access and issues.

Trek to Heritage Places in South India

by Manick

Graduated in 1984 from Anna University as a Mechanical Engineer, Manick Rajendran continued to complete his MBA from IIMB two years later. After a stint with a voluntary agency serving in the villages of Tamil Nadu, he took a franchise opportunity with NIIT. That was the start of his entrepreneurial pursuits.

In the early nineties, he moved to the US and through exposure to a variety of industries ranging from Finance to Healthcare, has had two successful exits.  He has served as the Co-Chairman of the Admin and Finance Domain Committee of the Healthcare IT Standards Panel, as well as the Co-Chairman of the Interoperability Tiger Team set up to advice the Obama Administration on Meaningful Use stimulus guidelines.

He co-creates and manages the prestigious Interoperability Showcase at the HIMSS Conferences every year thereby being a major influence among the Healthcare Product (Information Technology and Devices) vendor community in the USA.

In the past 3 years, he has served as the Director of the Velammal Medical College Hospital and Research Institute and continues as an advisor.  His focus continues to be on the improvement of people, quality and customer service.  He is a Lean Six Sigma Green belt in Healthcare.

Currently as President of a Life Sciences company out of Chennai, he is leading the charge in the field of Genomics in India.

An avid hiker, amateur astronomer, archer and bicyclist, he continues to trek not only the hilly regions of South India, but as you will see, to interesting historical sites.

Environmental impact of Plastics

by Vinoth

Vinoth is an IT professional like most of us. His green activities in CTC are what sets him apart. He is one of our key volunteer and the ambassador for green initiatives in CTC. He has been in our tree plantation drives ever since it was initiated. His efforts have gone to such extent that, his backyard at his home supports about 600 tree saplings required for our tree plantation drive. Vinoth and his affectionate family have always been a great help for CTC’s green initiatives. 

He was also the key volunteer behind the segregation of plastic wastes from our Chennai Coastal Cleanup drives and ensured that   this was used for laying the plastic based tar road at Madambakkam. Along with “Empeors” he played a wonderful role in cleaning up Vellikavi villai near Kodai. He has been pivotal in helping organizers to buy plastic free rations starting with our 6th birthday treks.
Vinoth will speak on the impact of plastics on our environment and ways to minimize the usage of plastics in everyday life. He will be sharing his experience of minimizing plastic usage in his personal life and in treks.



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