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  • Walk, smell the coffee


    Pushpanath ‘Push’ Krishnamurthy is tired. A campaigner with Oxfam, UK, he is just back from a fortnight-long, 540-km walk across Karnataka for what he calls “climate justice”. “After walking 30-40 km every day for half a month, it’s tiring to not walk anymore,” he says, leaning back in his chair at the office of the Centre for Social Markets, a Bangalore-based non-profit that promotes climate change dialogue and socially sustainable entrepreneurship, where he is currently on an externship.

    In a white chikankari kurta and jeans, his face framed by a cloud of unruly salt-and-pepper hair, Krishnamurthy looks every bit the eccentric Gandhian. He is brimming with stories from his journey, timed to coincide with the UN climate conference in Durban, South Africa.

    “I met 30,000 people in 16 days. Hordes of people joined me on various legs of the walk, welcomed me into their homes, shared their stories, fed me and garlanded me. I felt like Bono without the sunglasses,” he says, laughing. Krishnamurthy began his walk, backed by CSM and the Karnataka Growers’ Federation, on November 25 in the hills of Chikmagalur, descending two thousand feet in the next few days to pass through Hassan, Coorg and Hunsur and finally arrive at Mysore. Along the way, farmers and coffee growers filled him in on the climatic variance of the past few years and how it was affecting their crops. He visited villages ravaged by unseasonable bouts of rain and explained in chaste Kannada the correlation between human activity and climate change. He blogged every day and gave interviews to radio and local papers, attracting a posse of supporters aged seven to 80. “Most of them hadn’t heard of the Durban talks. They thought I was a crazy old man. Some called me a parisara vaadi, a climatologist. I told them I am just a regular guy with irregular hair,” he says, lightheartedly.

    source: http://www.indianexpress.com / IE> Story / by V Shoba / December 18th, 2011

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