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Satpuda Foundation Executive Director Giri Venkatesan dies aged 62

Venkatesan was instrumental in spreading the work of Satpuda Foundation in the buffer villages of the tiger reserves like Pench, Navegaon Nagzira, Tadoba, Satpuda Tiger Reserve Pachmarhi, Kanha Tiger Reserve Madhya Pradesh, among others.
Last Updated : 25 June 2024, 11:53 IST

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Mumbai: Media professional-turned-conservationist Giri Venkatesan passed away on Tuesday morning in Badrinath in Uttarakhand after suffering a massive heart attack. Venkatesan, who was the Executive Director of Satpuda Foundation, had gone with his family to Badrinath, where he suffered a heart attack and died.

His last rites will be performed at Badrinath itself, family sources said.

Giri Venkatesan (62) worked for English media outlets for almost 25 years. He then became acquainted with the work of wildlife lover Kishore Rithe and his organization Satpuda Foundation.

Rithe is now Director of Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS).

Venkatesan was fascinated by the forests of Melghat and Pench.

In 2007, he resigned from his job and joined Satpuda Foundation without accepting any remuneration.

He started working at the grassroots level. He started the Employment Cell in 2010 for the economic development of the villagers. He provided employment to about 2,000-3,000 youth by conducting several training programmes to train drivers, guides, security guards, and sessions on how to run small scale businesses.

He was later appointed executive Director of the Satpuda Foundation. He served in this position from 2010 till his demise.

He was instrumental in spreading the work of Satpuda Foundation in the buffer villages of the tiger reserves like Pench, Navegaon Nagzira, Tadoba, Satpuda Tiger Reserve Pachmarhi, Kanha Tiger Reserve Madhya Pradesh, among others. He was instrumental in setting up the SF’s research centre near Sillari village in Pench.

"Despite his vast media experience, he conveniently distanced himself from the limelight while doing all this work. He had a reputation for being very hardworking and punctual and disciplined. Due to his experience at the national level as well as internationally, he brought administrative discipline to Satpuda Foundation and also set up several systems within the organisation," said Rithe.

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Published 25 June 2024, 11:53 IST

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