Satish Kumar
I was excited to meet Satish at the E4E (Event for the Environment – organised by WestDen, Tavistock, Devon) after having read his book No Destination many years back. In the book he narrates his story of walking 8000 miles in 2.5 years from India to Moscow, Paris, London and Washington (boats included!). I suppose this was the seed that has become waterpilgrim so I owe alot of it to him:

 “We have to have knowledge of our home planet in order to manage it properly. But industry, business, government and universities only focus on economy and largely ignore ecology – this is a great mistake. Common-sense tells us that we cannot manage our home if we don’t know it. Economy without ecology means managing the human nature relationship without knowing the delicate balance between humankind and the natural world. In my view ecology, or the knowledge, should come before economy or the management. It has been said by many wise people that economy is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the environment. Without the land, the rivers, the oceans, the forests, the sunshine, the minerals and thousands of natural resources we would have no economy whatsoever. Nature is our true home and our true capital. That is why I call ecology primary, and economy secondary.

In the face of the world’s environmental ills, how then do we move forward as Earth Pilgrims? The first step is to be true to Gandhi’s wise saying – ‘be the change that you want to see’: no preaching without practising. The second step is to communicate the blessings of this new relationship. And the third is to organise with others to achieve change more effectively. Take heart – being an Earth Pilgrim requires no training, no university courses and no books, simply the realisation once again of connectedness.” 

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Sir David Attenborough has inspired me for many years now. His honest approach to his work and his ability to inspire have moved me to action more than most.

“Sir David Attenborough is Britain’s best-known natural history film-maker. His career as a naturalist and broadcaster has spanned nearly five decades and there are very few places on the globe that he has not visited.

Sir David’s first job – after Cambridge University and two years in the Royal Navy – was at the London publishing house Hodder & Stoughton. Then in 1952 he joined the BBC as a trainee producer and it was while working on the Zoo Quest series (1954-64) that he had his first opportunity to undertake expeditions to remote parts of the globe to capture intimate footage of rare wildlife in its natural habitat.

He was Controller of BBC2 (1965-68), during which time he introduced colour television to Britain, then Director of Programmes for the BBC (1969-1972). However in 1973 he abandoned administration altogether to return to documentary-making and writing.

Over the last 25 years he has established himself as the world’s leading natural history programme maker with several landmark BBC series, including Life on Earth (1979), The Living Planet (1984), The Trials of Life (1990), The Private Life of Plants (1995), Life of Birds (1998), Life of Mammals (2002) and Life in the Undergrowth (2005). Sir David is a Trustee of the British Museum and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew; an Honorary Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge; a Fellow of the Royal Society and was knighted in 1985.”

(Quoted from


 Sir Ranulph Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes was born in 1944 and educated at Eton. He served with the Royal Scots Greys for a time before joining the SAS. In 1968 he joined the Army of the Sultan of Oman and in 1970 was awarded the Sultan’s Bravery Medal. In the same year he married his wife, Virginia. (In 1987, Virginia was the first woman to be awarded the Polar Medal).
Since 1969 when he led the British Expedition on the White Nile, Ranulph Fiennes has been at the forefront of many exploratory expeditions.Described in 1984 as the “World’s Greatest Living Explorer” by the Guinness Book of Records, his expeditions around the world include:
Transglobe (the first surface journey around the world’s polar axis) 1979/1982, during which Ranulph Fiennes and Charles Burton became the first people ever to reach both poles by surface travel.
North Polar Unsupported Expedition (furthest north unsupported record) 1986.
Anglo Soviet North Pole Expedition 1990/91.
Co-leader of the Ubar Expedition (which in 1991 discovered Ptolemy’s long-lost Atlantis of the Sands, the frankincense centre of the world).
Leader of the Pentland South Pole Expedition (which achieved the first unsupported crossing of the Antarctic Continent and the longest unsupported polar journey in history) 1992/1993.
He has been awarded an honorary degree from Loughborough University, the University of Central England in Birmingham and the University of Portsmouth. The Royal Geographic Society awarded him with a Livingstone’s Gold Medal in 1983 and a Founder’s Medal in 1984. The Explorers Club of New York awarded Sir Ranulph with a Gold Medal and Honorary Life Membership in 1983. In 1997, The Royal Institute of Navigation awarded him Honorary Membership. In 2000 The Explorers Club, British Chapter, honoured Sir Ranulph with the Polar Exploration Millennium Award.
Sir Ranulph’s expeditions have raised over £4.2 million for the Multiple Sclerosis Society, (which has enabled the building of Europe’s first MS research centre in Cambridge) and £1.9 million for Breakthrough Breast Cancer. In 1993 he was awarded an OBE for ‘human endeavour and charitable services’.
Sir Ranulph is also the author of several books including his autobiography Living Dangerously, The Feather Men (UK Number One Best-seller), Atlantis of the Sands, Mind Over Matter (a harrowing account of his Antarctic expedition), The Sett, Beyond the Limits and his most recent The Secret Hunters.
In 1995 Her Majesty the Queen was graciously pleased to award Sir Ranulph a second clasp to the Polar Medal that he already has, in recognition of his outstanding achievements in Polar exploration and, in particular, his attempts to reach the North Pole between 1988 and 1990 and his successful trek across Antarctica in 1992/93. (No-one else has a double clasp medal each of which acknowledges both Arctic and Antarctic achievements).
“From 1953 to 1981 a silver haired woman calling herself only ‘Peace Pilgrim’ walked more than 25,000 miles on a personal pilgrimage for peace. She vowed to ‘remain a wanderer until mankind has learned the way of peace, walking until given shelter and fasting until given food.’

In the course of her 28 year pilgrimage she touched the hearts, minds, and lives of thousands of individuals all across North America. Her message was both simple and profound. It continues to inspire people all over the world.”

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An inspiring woman, don’t you think?


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