May 2008: “International felicitation” by United Nations Decade of Sustainable Development (UNDESD), UNESCO, UNICEF, UNDP in association with International Association of Educators for World Peace (IAEWP), USA, (UN NGO) and Social Organisation for Health – Human & Management (SOHAM) for “Outstanding Contribution to Environment Protection and Water Security”.
May 2007: Won “Dubai International Award” constituted by UN-HABITAT for best practices to improve living environment in Ahmedabad City through his project Mission ENDURE (ENsuring DUst REduction) which was first of its kind and size in the Country launched by any NGO to reduce dust pollution with public participation.
July 2000: In recognition of his activities related to water security in Coastal Bhal region of Gujarat, UNESCO invited him to attend a Workshop on ‘Wise Coastal Practice for Sustainable Human Development’. Project successfully solved the problem of non-availability of fresh water in the Bhal region.
April 2000: Selected by the “Third World Network of Scientific Organisation”, Italy as one of the four referees for evaluation of an important Joint Research Project at Yemen titled “Characterization an Environmental Prioritisation of the Coastal region in the state of Yemen.”
- Founded student union of Mardhan Singh Inter-College Talbehat, Dist. Lalitpur, U. P. in 1975 and Elected its unopposed General Secretary.
- Founded National Council for Civil Liberties (NCCL) in 1991 with its H.Q at Ahmedabad. NCCL is a non-profitable multi dimensional social organization registered under the Societies Act and recognized by the Ministry of Law & Justice (Dept. of Company Affairs), Govt. of India.
- Under the stewardship of Shri Saxena, NCCL has actively taken up several issues of national importance against monolithic Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs), Private Companies, Central or State Govts., creating awareness against injustice, stopping unfair trade practices, exposing myths – taking up the issues witd the appropriate authorities or courts of law – till their logical conclusions.
- In the five eventful decades of his life, he has been a jet-setting corporate leader, a vociferous social crusader, an ardent environmentalist, a committed water-conservationist, an articulate votary for integrated development, and a Pilot Licensee.
- On the developmental front, he has actively pursuing a project named “Rainbow Hills” to adopt and develop villages across the Country under CSR funds.
- On the cultural Front Mr Saxena keeps raising relevant issues whenever he comes across them. On 17th May, 2008, he discovered that the statue of the ‘Father of the Nation’ Mahatma Gandhi, who is undoubtedly amongst the greatest leaders of humankind, was not placed in the wing where the statues of other illustrious world leaders were exhibited, at London’s Madame Tussauds Wax Museum. `The statue was placed on the second floor near an Ice Cream Parlour close to a dustbin. Moved by this plight of apathy towards the Mahatma Gandhi, Mr. Saxena took up the matter with the political leadership in UK and India.
- In a letter written to the then British Prime Minister Mr. Gordon Brown, Mr. Saxena wondered “is this not a paradox that the memory of the man who rallied world attention on the evil of apartheid in South Africa over a century ago is now subjected to the same scandalous contempt that we thought the world has overcome? Is this not a racial bias against India and its role models of historic reverence?”
- Mr Saxena requested the British Prime Minister to initiate immediate action to see that this anomaly is rectified and the “Pride of India” is restored in Madame Tussauds Wax Museum. He pursued the issue until an apology was offered by the Museum office, and the Mahatma statue was shifted to the ‘World Leaders’ Exhibition’ hall there.
Brief description of initiatives taken by Mr. V K Saxena for public cause :
- NCCL on 21.11.2014 launched its new Project “Rainbow Hills” from village VANAJ, in Taluka Vijayanagar, District: Sabarkantha in Gujarat for re-constructions/repairs and modernization of tribal houses in the picturesque Adivasi Vanaj village which is situated on a small hillock facing a huge lake. The 12 selected houses in village: Vanaj, were constructed by the Adivasis using mud for walls and local wood for ceiling. These dilapidated dusty houses were in an unhealthy conditions to live in. NCCL completed repair and reconstruction of these 12 houses in a record period of 3 montds. Under the scheme repairing of walls, floor, roof, Varendas etc were done including Construction of toilets. The aim of the scheme was to provide basic amenities to the poor Adivasis, without disturbing their lifestyle, traditions and surroundings. These Adivasis are also guided to rent out one room in these neatly re-constructed houses to the tourists interested in eco-tourism to generate income for them.
- To make the city of Ahmedabad dust free, NCCL in July 2004 launched an ambitious project called MissionENDURE (ENsuring DUst REduction). MissionENDURE was the first ever endeavor of its kind and size in the country in which an NGO was promoting a practical, positive and participatory solution to reduce dust pollution in a large city like Ahmedabad. This eco-friendly scheme not only reduced dust pollution but also allowed rainwater to recharge the aquifer. MissionENDURE has won Dubai International Award instituted by UN-HABITAT. NCCL was selected for this award from 650 entries from 140 countries. This project was showcased at World Urban Forum for Worldwide emulation.
- NCCL’s most important contribution which has changed the lives of millions of people of Gujarat and MP has been its sustained efforts of exposing the activities of Medha Patkar of Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) in the year 2000, who was opposing the construction of the Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP) and other upcoming hydro projects on Narmada Valley for the last 15 years. The NCCL established a formidable opposition to NBA through a multi-pronged stride involving technical, legal, social and cultural dimensions. The role of NCCL has been acknowledged by the people of Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.
- NCCL took up the job of deepening of silted village ponds with local people’s participation in 13 villages of driest Bhal region of Gujarat during the year 1999 – 2000. Two to three meters silt was removed from the ponds which helped store enough rain water for the entire year. NCCL also supplied free water in remote villages of Bhal region of Gujarat every year since 2001 till 2005.
- A severe Earth Quake hit Gujarat on 26th January 2001. NCCL took the assistance from a well-known organization “Earth Center” Hyderabad, having expertise in analyzing satellite images, to study the impact of earthquake on SSP through satellite imageries.
- He was also involved in Water Resource Planning and Water Shed Management for Gujarat & Rajasthan. To catalyze the process of deeper scientific understanding of environmental matters by very competent Indian and foreign Scientists, NCCL commissioned a study in the year 2003 called “Trishna” for bringing unutilized water to the parched areas of Gujarat & Rajasthan.
A person of enormous social commitment, whose distinguished contributions are strongly spread over both the corporate as well as NGO sectors. Providing business leadership in Western India on a diverse range of corporate matters such as petroleum and ports.
He joined a well-known J K Group at Rajasthan in 1984 as an Asst. Officer and worked in Rajasthan for 11 years in various capacities in its White Cement Plant. Transferred to Gujarat in 1995 as General Manager to look after proposed Port Project. He then rapidly rose to become the CEO and later elevated as Director of the Dholer Port Project. As the Director of Port Project and a Founder-President of the widely acclaimed NGO–NCCL, he is known for his suave and refined persona.
His immense social and legal efforts in keeping at bay the vested interests that tried to disrupt the good work of Sardar Sarovar Project are also highly regarded in Gujarat, MP and Rajasthan. There are dozens of examples of his ingenuity-be it in the domain of water resource development, fighting the social mal-practices, disaster management support or clean development of the city space. Any instance of anti-Development campaign will find him fighting it tooth and nail through a combination of technical, legal, social and cultural skills. Likewise, any instance of social development will find him drawn to its principle like metal to a magnet.