Involved in campaigns on industrial pollution since his student days at university, Dr Narasimha Reddy Donthi was instrumental in producing a status report on the environment in Andhra Pradesh in 1990. He has also authored environment education material for universities and colleges, and co-authored a book on Environmental Education published in 2001.
He has worked on different projects, including education and action research projects related to environmental problems, as well as the agricultural issues of Andhra Pradesh. Narasimha was associated with policy initiatives related to the promotion of organic farming in India, and was instrumental in developing the Indian Organic Standards that ensure Indian farming conditions are suitable. As a result of his work, he was elected as board member of IFOAM-Asia, part of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) based in Germany. Narasimha has also developed information and policy expertise on the seed sector, cotton, sugarcane, sericulture and other related areas. He supports various initiatives on land and water issues, and was a member of the Consultative Committee of the Cotton Advisory Board, Ministry of Textiles.
Narasimha is the only analyst on the Indian textile sector, and he conducts research on integrating various segments of the textile sector. He established a centre on the handloom sector, which provides information and advocates policy, dealing essentially with issues related to the handloom sector in India. He has authored 24 publications in Telugu on the handloom sector, and written several articles published online touching on varied subjects including problems of women weavers, wages, unfair competition, handloom markets, handloom budgets and travails of shed weavers. He has also written on various other subjects, and participated in several workshops and seminars in India and abroad on trade, agriculture and textile subjects.
He has initiated an enterprise that has brought together about 500 handloom weavers: a unique marketing model in India. He has also singularly lobbied for and succeeded in restoring HS classification for handloom products, and was instrumental in bringing about the officially recognized National Handloom Day, which takes place on 7th August every year.
Narasimha works across a number of different sectors and has wide knowledge on issues therein, including the power sector, the textile sector, and agricultural and industrial sectors. He has been an important member of civil society in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana for the past 30 years, building campaigns, advocacy programmes and policy change projects.
For the past 17 years, Narasimha has been associated with the People’s Monitoring Group on Electricity Regulation, which has been contributing to public discourse and public interest-oriented policy changes in the electricity sectors of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. His PhD on nuclear energy policy has enabled him to select handloom production as the best method of textile production in the current context of concerns over climate change. He has also worked extensively on urban water issues in Hyderabad.