The Integrated Mountain Initiative (IMI) community suffered a great loss in 2016 with the passing away of its esteemed and visionary leader, elder, and guiding light. Dr RS Tolia conceptualized the idea of IMI, got like-minded people on board and led it from the front as its founding President. His passion and commitment towards improving the lives of mountain communities is what drove him. There are few people who have had such a profound impact on the future direction of mountain development as Dr Tolia. His vision and commitment for the formation of a pan-Indian mountain movement not only unified diverse mountain states of India but also inspired others. His deep understanding of the links among people, cultures, livelihoods and mountain environment undoubtedly influenced a generation of researchers, organizations and policymakers.
While his passionate determination will continue to inspire people, IMI community aims to encourage passionate individuals to carry forward the cause of integrated mountain development to commemorate the memory of Dr. Tolia and in gratitude to its founding President. Therefore, in 2017 IMI resolved to institute the ‘Dr RS Tolia Award’ to recognize individual efforts that have made an impact in integrating and addressing the issues of mountain communities.

Purpose & Rationale
The purpose of the award is to recognize and reward the exemplary work of individuals whose work has created an impact / has the potential to impact sustainable prosperity and well-being of the people of the Mountain states in India. In exceptional cases organizations can will also be considered. However, the preference will be to reward individuals.

Eligibility Criteria & Profile of the Suitable Candidate
1. Individuals whose work has created an impact or has the potential to impact the lives and sustainability of Mountain areas positively are eligible to apply for the Award
2. In rare cases, we may recognize institutions where such institutions are systematically responsible for driving action that meets the purpose of this award.
3. The award will not be restricted to any particular sectors or fields of action.
4. Innovation at grass root levels with widespread application/ impact as well as policy advocacy aimed at addressing issues and challenges of mountain states in India, are eligible for consideration for award
5. Academic research that informs policy formulation and action research with similar impact is also eligible.
6. The award is aimed at celebrating the contribution of mountain people working to improve the lives of mountain people and sustainable prosperity of IMI member states, but eligibility for nomination for the award is not restricted to people from mountains only. If some individuals’ / organizations’ work has made a huge positive difference to people of the member states of IMI, they will be recognized irrespective of where they come from

The selection of awardee will be made by an independent, extra- IMI jury of eminent individuals. Jury’s decision will be final and binding.

Value of the Award
The value of the Award is Rs. 1 lakh cash and citation. In addition, IMI will cover all related expenses such as travel expenses of final nominees and the award winner as appropriate.

Past Awardee
In 2017, the first Award was conferred upon Avani Society working with women and communities to become self-reliant through sustainable livelihood and energy solutions, in Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand

Nominations for the award are now open and will be accepted till 30 June 2018.
Interested individuals/organisations must download the Nomination Form and send in their application along with a recent CV by this date to pd.imi@inmi.in

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