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Initiated by the CMS Environment team, the coveted CMS VATAVARAN Awards are keenly contested between highly accomplished and creative filmmakers of India and abroad. The award for best environment and wildlife films includes a cash worth `25,000 to `150,000, a citation and a trophy. A total of 35 awards, worth `20 lakhs were presented in 25 categories in 2009 and 31 awards worth `14 lakhs were presented in 18 categories in 2007. The award winners have been selected through very rigorous and transparent process. The selection has been done after three rounds of evaluation in which more than 100 eminent personalities from different sectors dedicated their valuable time and expertise.

CMS VATAVARAN’s highest honour Prithvi Ratna Award is conferred on a filmmaker for his/ her significant contribution over the years in highlighting environment and wildlife concerns through films. The Prithvi Ratna award for the year 2007 was presented to eminent wildlife filmmaker Mr Shekar Dattatri and in 2009 to highly experienced environment and development filmmaker Mr Krishnendu Bose. 

International bodies such as the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), bilateral organisations such as the Embassy of Norway, Embassy of Netherlands, public sector entities like the Canara Bank, and prominent corporate bodies such as HSBC India and Thermax Limited were associated with the coveted CMS VATAVARAN Awards in 2007 and 2009.


CMS Young Environment Journalist Awards

Initiated in the year 2007 by CMS Environment team, the awards are for excellence in environmental journalism. The awards are presented to two journalists who have done exemplary investigative and inspired reporting on environmental issues. These biennial awards are a countrywide recognition of two journalists (21-35 years of age) who have made a significant contribution in either the print or electronic media to an understanding of the nation’s environmental problems. The winners of the Awards include Bahar Dutt (CNN-IBN) and Amarjyoti Borah (Freelancer) in 2007 and Aarti Dhar (The Hindu) and Pierre Fitter (NEWSX) in 2009. The award money for each was `50,000. Forum of Environmental Journalists of India (FEJI) and TVE Asia Pacific has been the supporting partners for these honours.


UNICEF Awards for Gender Sensitive Programmes in Telugu TV Channels

| 4th UNICEF Awards for Gender Sensitive Programming in Telugu TV Channels 

UNICEF collaborated with CMS in implementing this intervention of awarding the most gender-sensitive Telugu channels. The purpose of the intervention was to sensitise and generate awareness amongst Telugu television channels on issues related to girl child and also to create a platform where television media can be recognised and rewarded for their efforts in covering these issues. 

The CMS office in Delhi and its regional office in Hyderabad worked systematically to streamline the entire process of the UNICEF Awards initiative by setting up a jury, monitoring of television programmes, providing television professionals with data support and reviewing their programmes as per UNICEF objectives. CMS Hyderabad Media Lab tracked and monitored the 18 Telugu television channels during Prime Time for two months. A media consultation was specifically organised with the 18 participating Television channels, script writers, civil society members and the government to sensitise them on issues negatively impacting the girl child. This was done to aid the media in their efforts to bring about positive change among people on the issue of women empowerment.

The media monitoring, successive media consultation workshops, jury meetings and media advisories culminated in a gala award ceremony and presentation of the report on the initiative in Hyderabad. Deputy Speaker of Andhra Pradesh Assembly, Shri N Manohar, who presented the awards alongside silver screen doyen Akkineni Nageswara Rao, shared his idea of instituting an award for legislators who were proactive in the Assembly on women’s issues. This award has helped UNICEF and CMS to advocate on issues such as child marriage, girl child labour, girl child education, etc.


UNFPA-CMS Art for Social Change Awards

The UNFPA-CMS Art for Social Change painting competition provided a unique platform to reach out to the young minds, and use the language of colours and canvas to make strong statements about the worth of the girl child. This nationwide competition aimed at generating public discourse on the positive portrayal of daughters and women to raise awareness, stimulate discussions, influence positive attitudes among upcoming artists and culminate in positive action. 

This initiative on the theme of, “Delighting in Daughters” led to 474 paintings being received from students of 56 premier fine art colleges from 22 states of the country. These paintings were evaluated by an eminent jury led by renowned painter Ms. Anjolie Ela Menon. Each of these paintings stands testimony to a movement that has begun amongst the young people to address the abhorrent issue of sex selection.

An immediate remarkable outcome of the orientation was more men (61%) than women (39%) participated in celebrating the girl child and women’s empowerment. This held true even among the nominated paintings-where 37 paintings (67%) were by men and 18 (33%) were by women. 

CMS assessed the co-relation between student orientation and its impact on their paintings. The results were quite interesting. All the top three awards had gone to students of the colleges where CMS conducted an orientation through a presentation, data and elaborate discussions about the competition and the theme. This proves that with constant and positive reinforcement, the message of delighting in daughters can be driven home.
This new initiative has led to a database of art colleges all across India. This is unprecedented since no directory, website or any other comprehensive source of information existed on art colleges across the country. Today, CMS is the only organisation that has authenticated and validated information about art colleges and institutions in India.


Green Heroes Awards

The CMS Environment team initiated the Green Heroes awards in the year 2010 for individuals who have been doing remarkable work in the field of environmental conservation in their or adopted local city, town, district or village. The awardees were chosen through nominations from diverse backgrounds ranging from academics, research, filmmaking, journalism, environment education, grassroots activities, etc. The objective behind the award was to acknowledge and recognise the work being done at the grassroots level by individuals so that it can act as a source of inspiration to others and to encourage people to come forward for the cause of environment. 

CMS and its partners identified and felicitated individuals who have made significant contributions in the field of waste management in fragile ecological regions, environment educators, filmmakers, cave conservationists, foresters, agricultural scientists, ornithologists, organic farmers, community mobilisers, environmental journalists, and practitioners of traditional conservation methods amongst others.

The Green Heroes who were selected and felicitated in 2010 were from Shimla, Hyderabad Shillong, Port Blair and Bhubaneswar. In all, 38 people were awarded by eminent people like Shri Ranjit Shekhar Mooshahary, Hon’ble Governor of Meghalaya; Shri Vivek Rae, Chief Secretary, Andaman & Nicobar Administration; Shri Thakur Gulab Singh, Minister for Public Works Department, Govt. of Himachal Pradesh; Shri N Kiran Kumar Reddy, Hon’ble Speaker, Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly; Shri Debi Prasad Mishra, Hon’ble Minister of Higher Education, Tourism and Culture, Govt. of Orissa; Shri Binoy Vishwam, Hon’ble Minister for Forests, Kerala and eminent film maker Shri Adoor Gopalakrishnan.


CMS Academy Awards for Telugu News

CMS Academy Awards for Telugu News Bulletins/Channels is a unique effort started in 2007 to show how human values, societal concerns and professional standards could be upheld, without succumbing to market forces and yet being commercially viable. These awards were initiated to encourage responsible programming in the broadcasting sector. Chief Guest, Padma Bhushan Shyam Benegal; Special Guest, Shri. Raju Narisetti, Editor Mint; were some of the eminent people who presided in the award ceremony introduced for the first time in Andhra Pradesh.

These experimental awards rigorously followed a methodology which reflects the public concerns and the power of TV. Broadly, a four pronged effort was made for selecting the awardees for 2008, as in the case of 2007. This four phased methodology included content analysis of news bulletins/channels, a household survey, focus group discussion with experts and considerations by a seven member jury of eminent people.


Role Model Awards

On completion of the first 10 years, CMS organised 14 national orations under the theme of “Challenges and Opportunities of New Millennium: Communication Colloquium Series”, at the National Museum, Janpath, New Delhi. Each lecture was delivered by an eminent personality of the country, like Dr M S Swaminathan, Dr V Kurien and Dr Ela Bhatt. CMS took this opportunity of these National Lectures to honour person who delivered these lectures as ‘Role Models’ of India. 

On completion of 20 years, now, CMS is organising another series of national lectures on “Analysing and Envisioning India”. This time the citizens of the country are getting an opportunity to listen to 20 path breaking Role Models who are talking about the most neglected aspects of our development endeavours. Some of the eminent speakers include Dr Nandan Nilekani, Chairperson, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI); Sh Mani Shankar Aiyar, Member of Parliament; Shri Wajahat Habibullah, Chief Information Commissioner, and Justice (Retd) Rajindar Sachar, Former Chief Justice of Delhi High Court.