Vishy Teki wins the Rex Karmaveer Award (Gold Medal) 2023
Vishy Teki received the Rex Karamveer Award (Gold Medal) for 2023-24 for tireless contributions to the field of development filmmaking. The award was conferred by the International Confederation of NGOs (iCONGO) in partnership with the United Nations (UN) on 26th November 2023 at Shiv Nadar School, Faridabad in Haryana. The award recognizes and honours individuals who have made significant contributions to social causes, humanitarian work, and environmental sustainability.
Vishy is dedicated to making films that bring out stories from different nooks and corners of India, stories that would otherwise remain unheard, stories that have the power to impact both the subject and the viewer of the film. With a firm belief in the power of communication for social change and using video as an effective tool, he has documented the lives of the fishing communities, persons with disabilities, women, informal workers and Dalits, migrants, conflict-affected persons, children in difficult circumstances, displaced communities, and farmers.
Expressing his happiness, Vishy Teki said, “I dedicate this award to the communities with whom I worked and whose voices I captured from remote corners of India to Vietnam to Sri Lanka to be heard by policy and decision makers, to bring positive changes in the lives of the marginalised communities.
I am able to bring the community perspective in my films, thanks to my work with ActionAid, an International NGO for almost a decade. I want the world to understand the reasons why a child works in a brick kiln and why the child is not in school and why his\her parents have involuntarily migrated to cities. The films I make are context-specific such as presenting survey findings on violence faced by women in Vietnam to revisiting the status of young people in war-affected Northern parts of Sri Lanka in 2022”.
Founder of the Communication Resource Centre (CRC), Vishy has made films for the Government, John’s Hopkins University, Queens Elizabeth Trust UK, George Institute of Global Health, Oxford University, Save the Children, ActionAid and many more organizations. In collaboration with Telangana Police and Save the Children, CRC joined forces to lead a campaign addressing child sexual abuse (2016). This endeavour features the active involvement of Tapsi Pannu, a renowned Hindi actress. During COVID, Vishy Teki and his team took proactive measures by creating a WhatsApp group that connected doctors, individuals affected by COVID-19, health workers, medicine distributors, the media, and the police to offer information and support to the covid affected families.
Vishy has embarked on working in the domain of agroecology as it has huge potential to offset climate change effects. Global temperatures are on the rise at a catastrophic level of 2.5-2.9°C that will impact food systems. The current discourse is on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, which is not of much help. The planet’s heat dynamics are not influenced by carbon emissions but by hydrology, which is possible only by increasing vegetation through agroecology transition. To reduce 1°C global temperature one requires to increase of 4% in green vegetation. This requires unpacking of science behind Natural Farming.
Natural Farming is a great leveller in mitigating climate change and that requires collaborative efforts of industry, governments, and research organisations such as CGIAR. “I would like to contribute to the fight against climate change by associating with organisations which are relentlessly working on food systems transformation”. The food systems change requires impactful communication work of raising awareness, influencing consumer behaviour, and changing the way agriculture is practised on the ground, generating evidence and importantly mainstreaming the idea of ‘one planet, one health’.
India has a great role in this transition and thanks to his mentor Mr. G Muralidhar, Advisor at Andhra Pradesh Community Managed Natural Farming, Vishy is learning and contributing to the food systems change work. Bringing the experiences of smallholder farmers in Natural Farming and making them heard will be a significant contribution. Vishy also stood runner-up for the Communication for Social Change Award 2014 in the individual category instituted by Queensland University Australia, bringing forth the voice of the invisible.
Jeroninio Almeida, founder of Rex Karmaveer Global Fellowship, emphasizes the need for recognition beyond the traditional awards reserved for privileged individuals in various fields. The Karmaveer Awards were established to honor unsung heroes and change champions from diverse backgrounds who selflessly work towards addressing societal issues. These awards aim to celebrate individuals who embody the spirit of making a positive impact and leading transformative change. Eitu Chopra, Co-Founder of Rex-Ideas For Action, describes the Karmaveer Awards as more than just accolades; they represent an emotion, a mindset, and a commitment to being the change. The awards foster a culture of continuous learning, with a unique hierarchy ranging from the Karmaveer Chakra badge of honor to various medals and prestigious recognitions like Karmaveer Puraskaar, Karmaveer Jyoti, and Karmaveer Maharatna. This progression encourages recipients to take on increasing responsibilities, learn, grow, and contribute more to society as true Change Champions. Explore more about the fellowship and awards at www.rexideas.com.
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