In a heartwarming tribute to the legendary Nek Chand, the visionary behind India’s first planned city, environmental justice activists gathered in Surrey, Canada, to mark the birth centenary of the man who transformed waste material into breathtaking sculptures. The occasion witnessed the unveiling of a special calendar dedicated to Chand, published by Radical Desi, an influential online magazine, and champion of environmental causes.
Nek Chand, born on December 15, 1924, etched his name into history with the creation of the iconic Rock Garden in Chandigarh. The garden, a testament to his creative genius, features sculptures meticulously crafted from discarded materials, showcasing the beauty that can emerge from waste.
The calendar, released on a Saturday amid a gathering of impassioned activists, goes beyond celebrating Chand’s artistic legacy. It serves as a poignant reminder of the crucial dates embedded in the global environmental movement. Each month resonates with the significance of events that have shaped the course of environmental activism worldwide.
Anjali Appadurai, a distinguished climate justice activist and keynote speaker at the event, unveiled the calendar with a profound sense of purpose. Appadurai, known for her significant contributions to the climate justice cause, had previously run for federal election and leadership of the ruling BC NDP. Her dedication to environmental advocacy earned her the prestigious Environmental Justice Hero Award, presented by anti-racism educator Annie Ohana on behalf of Radical Desi.
In her address, Appadurai eloquently shared the compelling narrative of her political journey, emphasizing the urgent need to address environmental concerns in a world grappling with the dual challenges of a climate emergency and social injustice. Her words resonated with the audience, underscoring the interconnectedness of environmental issues with broader societal problems.