Navin Raheja



December 27, 2015

Katha National Utsav Festival 2015

Mr Navin Raheja, as Chief Guest, addressing the audience at the Katha National Utsav Festival 2015 held at Sanskriti School, New Delhi on 27.12.2015, shared his experience on Wildlife conservation as well as rehabilitation of Slum Dwellers in Delhi.

Mr. Navin M Raheja, the CMD of Raheja Developers is known for his philanthropies for the tiger reserves and he is known as a successful wildlife enthusiast. He was given an accolade as the Justice BP Banarjee Green Man Award at the Kolkata International Wildlife & Environment Film Festival in October 2015.The film is about a Photogenic Ranthambore tiger ‘Ustad’ who has 4 deaths to his credit. Apart from his passion of wildlife, Mr. Raheja is known for his philanthropies for poor and less fortunate. He successfully steered 2800 families and rehabilitated them to better living. Raheja group has changed the life of 20,000 people by providing them better sanitation facilities.

Mr Raheja is a bright and illustrious star on the expansive sky of Indian real estate sector. An absolute self made man, Mr. Raheja has traversed the long path of resounding success with sheer determination, hard work and ambition. Today, Raheja Developers is one of largest real estate companies of India. Every project is known for its design aesthetics, environment friendly features, fine details and many such facets that uphold Navin Raheja conviction of being on the customers' side. But life is not just about professional success. It is much, much more than that For Navin Raheja, it is about wildlife conservation. From an early age, his heart had a soft spot for the wonders of the wilderness. Be it the majestic lords of the forest or the colorful birds, every life of the wild spellbound him. And when the life offered him an opportunity to take his interest to the next level, he took it up with immense gusto. His remarkable contribution in wildlife conservation at various levels earned him a distinguished position in the Project Tigers' Steering Committee under Ministry of Forests and Environment. He was also the Chairman, Wildlife Conservation Society of India.  Navin Raheja unfailing efforts in streamlining the lackadaisical attitude of the authorities in handling as sensitive an issue as wildlife led to the announcement of many landmark directives of the Supreme Court. His boundless love for the wilderness and passion about wildlife photography has led to the creation of a subsidiary called Raheja Productions. It produces incredible documentaries about various aspects of wildlife. For the first time in the world, he has successfully pioneered in rehabilitation of Leopard and Tiger Cubs in the wild. His wildlife films were weekly telecasted on Indian national channel Doordarshan, as well as on National Geographic Channel for many years. His true wild life encounters are covered every month in widely read magazines as a regular feature.

Katha, a non profit organization, the brainchild of Ms Geeta Dharmarajan, was registered on World Literacy Day 1989. However, the work had started a year earlier, with the launch of  Tamasha, a children’s magazine. The idea for this magazine germinated when Geeta was appalled by  the state of the children in the slums and the poor / non-existent education they were receiving. Thus, she found it imperative to take action sooner rather than later. Tamasha was launched as a health and environment magazine that would enhance the joy of reading among children. This then led Geeta to open Katha Khazana, a “deschool” in 1990 at Govindpuri, a large cluster of 8 slums, to cater to the children from predominantly non-literate families from economically backward communities. There has been no looking back since then.

Katha has an innovative and proven education model that has twenty-five years of working with children from underserved communities. To date, through its many programs, Katha has brought schooling to 162,500 children, trained 17,000 of them in IT, taught 90,000 women in income-generation and social activism skills, and brought the joy of reading to more than 6,000,000 children.

'‘Katha Utsav - The Katha Search for Excellence in Creative' is a workshop that will help children understand the importance of appreciating diversity and cultural linkages