To honour the memory of Integrated Mountain Initiative’s founding President, Dr. R.S. Tolia, our visionary leader, elder, and guiding light, IMI instituted the ‘Dr R.S. Tolia Award’ in 2017 to encourage passionate individuals to carry forward the cause of integrated mountain development. 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 also be considered. However, the preference will be to recognise individuals.

The award is not restricted to any particular sectors or fields of action. 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 the award.

Applications/ nominations are called for in April of every year for the award. The selection of an awardee is made by an independent, non-IMI jury of eminent individuals. Jury’s decision is final and binding.

The value of the award is INR 1 lakh, and a certificate.

A modest Dr. R.S.Tolia Corpus, contributed by a few generous members of IMI, takes care of the award expenses. We would certainly like to enhance the award money, and therefore appeal to all who wish to support mountain causes, to contribute to Dr.R.S.Tolia Corpus. For any information in this regard, kindly contact the Secretary, IMI on email -

The Awardees

2019 Awardee - Shri Sachidanand Bharati

Based in Gadkharak village in Ufrainkhal Pauri Garhwal in Uttarakhand, Shri Sachidanand Bharati’s journey started in 1973 while still a student, with the widely popular Chipko movement where he first came in contact with Dasholi Gram Swaraj Mandal, the mother institute of Chipko movement. Following that, he became actively involved with Dasholi Gram Swaraj Mandal, and participated in a plantation camp in Joshimath that lasted for 45 days – an area that is today covered by thick forests...

2017 Awardee - AVANI

AVANI started its journey as the Kumaon chapter of The Social Work and Research Center (SWRC), Tilonia, Rajasthan in January 1997. It had its beginnings in Pithoragarh with the main goal of strengthening local economy and which ultimately resulted in the revival of hand spinning, weaving for income generation with 20 families. Earthcraft, a self-reliant cooperative with 1400 families in 64 villages, supporting 1500 artisans 95% of whom are women. Not only does it integrate technology and livelihood within Households, but it is Zero Waste. It believes it LOCAL People...