Standing up For Human Rights with Pushpanath Krishnamurthy

Ep.52 09/09/2021

“I am because of others”

Pushpanath – ‘Push’ – Krishnamurthy is a British citizen, originally from Bangalore, India.

Push spent three decades at the leading edge of development work across three continents, with NGOs such as Oxfam and Save the Children.

At Oxfam he acquired legendary status for his pioneering work on campaigns, such as HIV/ AIDS, Make Trade Fair and Climate Change Hearings, which allowed ordinary people to tell policy makers about their direct experiences of climate change. An accomplished communicator and vivid storyteller, adept at motivating highly diverse communities, Push is skilled at taking complex issues and popularizing them for grassroots constituencies, using a blend of traditional advocacy and new approaches.

In December 2009, Push embarked on his first long walk – his ‘Walk for Climate Justice’ – from Oxford, UK, to Copenhagen, Denmark, to raise awareness of the issues of climate change and poverty in advance of the UN conference on climate change in Copenhagen, COP15. In 2011, he repeated this effort in another Walk for Climate Justice in the southern Indian state of Karnataka, to call attention to the plight of small producers such as coffee growers in an era of climate change. This walk was supported by the Karnataka Growers Federation (KGF) and Centre for Social Markets (CSM), and reached 30,000 people directly, and through radio he was able to reach a million listeners a day!

In 2012 he walked in the UK to promote Oxfam’s ‘Grow’ campaign on Fair Trade, telling the stories of Coffee Growers in India. He undertook another climate justice walk in India in 2015/16 during the Paris COP 21. This covered 450 km from the Bay of Bengal to the hills of Ooty, and resulted in the first Fair Trade towns being declared in India and in South Asia.

In the more than a decade since his first walk to Copenhagen he has taken over 31 million steps and reached over 400,000 people directly – farmers, teachers, lawyers, environmentalists, organic associations, fair trade supporters and schools and citizens. People all over the world have connected with him.

Now 12 years on from his first walk, he is walking again during COP26, from London to Glasgow. On this journey Push will join with others and he encourages others to walk with him.

He is looking to people, communities and citizens to host him for a night – a mat, a hot shower and a conversation, is what he is looking for.

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