An iconic leader of social justice movements in India, Prafulla Samantara led a historic 12-year legal battle that affirmed the indigenous Dongria Kondh’s land rights and protected the Niyamgiri Hills from a massive, open-pit aluminum ore mine.
On the 20th anniversary of the 1984 Union Carbide gas leak that killed 20,000 and injured more than 150,000 in Bhopal, Rashida Bee and Champa Devi Shukla led a class action suit demanding cleanup and compensation for affected individuals.
M.C. Mehta single-handedly won numerous landmark judgments from India’s Supreme Court since 1984, including introducing lead-free gasoline to India and reducing the industrial pollution fouling the Ganges and eroding the Taj Mahal.
Medha Patkar mobilized massive marches and peaceful protests against the construction of India’s Sardar Sarovar Dam, which displaced thousands of tribal peoples and submerged vast stretches of forests and farmland.
With a small internet café as his headquarters, Ramesh Agrawal organized villagers to demand their right to information about industrial development projects and succeeded in shutting down one of the largest proposed coal mines in Chhattisgarh.