MUMBAI: The Save Parsik Hill campaign initiated by social communication activists has the Gold in the prestigious US-based 7th Annual PR World Awards.
Save Parsik Hill campaign focuses on the need to stop check plundering of the hills under the guise of quarrying and protects the bio-diversity of the area. The hills have been the major source of stones for the construction industry in Mumbai Metropolitan Region for over four decades and they have ravaged by blasting and exploiting much beyond the officially allotted areas.
“We launched a well orchestrated social communication campaign on the Environment Day in association with the Mumbai Press Club last year,” said B N Kumar, national governing council chairman of Public Relations Council of India (PRCI). The basic idea was to bring into sharp focus the environmental damage being done by unchecked quarrying. Apart from the traditional media, the campaign involved twitter, facebook posts and an online petition to the Chief Minister to stop further quarrying of the Hills, he said.
Four NGOs – Shree Ekvira Aai Pratishtan (SEAP), Awaaz Foundation, Vanashakti and Watchdog Foundation have backed the drive. Later, SEAP continuously supported the campaign by writing to various authorities such as the Thane district collector, Konkan Divisional Commissioner, the forest and pollution control board officials pointing out that many hills have begun to disappear and whatever is left needs to be saved.
As the massive public opinion gained momentum, various stake holders and government agencies have veered round to the fact that Parsik Hill quarrying needs to be stopped now. Even the Maharashtra’s Directorate of Geology and Mining has said Parsik Hills have come under danger zone.
“We are happy to have been associated with the PRCI campaign Save Parsik Hill. The consistent campaign has been able to raise awareness levels among various stakeholders,” said Nandakumar Pawar, forunder director of Shree Ekvira Aai Pratishtan (SEAP). “But the battle is not yet over. We have to ensure Parsik Hill is protected from quarrying altogether. SEAP, along with PRCI, will continue the campaign through various tools of communication,” he added.
The coveted annual SVUS PR World Awards programme encompasses the world’s best in recognizing public relations, marketing, corporate communications, investor relations, and business development professionals, teams, departments, and achievements from every major industry in the world. Organizations from all over the world including public and private, for-profit and non-profit, largest to smallest and new start-ups, have submitted their nominations. More than 80 judges from a broad spectrum of industry voices from around the world participated and their average scores determined the 2018 award winners, the organizers said.
“The PR World Award is recognition of a novel Social Communication Campaign initiated by Concept PR to focus on issues of community interest,” said Ashish Jalan, CEO and director of Concept PR which strategized the drive.