Environment Support Group

Dr. Shirdi Prasad Tekur Memorial Environmental Health Fellowship

Dr. Shirdi Prasad Tekur, when he served as Captain in the Indian Army, was selected to be one of the three contenders to be India’s first person in space. A training injury put him out of contention, and he had to leave the Army too.

When he returned to civil life, he invested his training as a child specialist and general physician in helping build Community Health Cell in Bangalore, which later became Sochara. But his true calling was in serving the holistic health needs of the wide public, particularly that of the poor and working classes, which he did through his small clinic, New City Clinic in Jayanagar, a southern suburb of Bangalore.

Available at his clinic from morning into late hours of the evening, Tekur listened carefully to dozens of patients, offered them holistic treatment (Allopathy, Homeopathy, Ayurveda and also Counselling), and always sent them home assured of quick recovery. A polo mint for kids was guaranteed. Whatever time he spent with the patient, no one was ever charged more than Rs. 100/session (quite often he did not charge at all from working classes and the poor, and even paid their medical bills).

Despite this busy schedule, Tekur found time to conduct training workshops on community health, environmental health, neurolinguistic programming, and personal improvement. He also painted excellent real life imageries and also abstract works. Besides, he was always available to students and researchers who needed his insight into various aspects of public and environmental health.

Tekur has been a long term friend and supporter of ESG, and helped us think through various environmental and social justice issues and concerns that we addressed. He was a quintessential part of every environmental health initiative ESG took over the decades. As Trustee, he made it a point to visit us once or twice every week and assisted in overseeing various statutory reviews and financial matters.

During the COVID pandemic, Tekur reached out to hundreds who were sick, in person and on the phone, and ensured they recovered. But during the brutal second wave Dr. Tekur got infected and ultimately lost his mortal battle to post COVID complications on 16th May 2021. There is not a day we fail to remember Tekur’s immense contributions to ESG and the wider world.

In memory of Dr. Tekur and to ensure the spirit with which he approached Environmental Health is sustained and made normative to public administration, ESG Trust has established the Dr. Shirdi Prasad Tekur Environmental Health Memorial Fellowship, which was launched during ESG’s 25th Anniversary Commemoration on 27th April 2023 by Ms. Arundhati Nag of Ranga Shankara in the presence of Tekur’s family.

Inviting Applications for the Dr. Shirdi Prasad Tekur Environmental Health Memorial Fellowship


To provide opportunities for early-career public health/social work /environmental health professionals/researchers/writers/photographers in addressing an environmental health risk/concern and thus contribute to deepening focus on environmental health in public administration.

  • Bachelors/Masters degree or equivalent competence in any discipline: Science, Humanities, Law, Public Health, Media Studies, etc. 
  • Have five years work experience in environmental/public health and related fields.
  • Demonstrated interest in Environmental health – by having published articles, essays, short films, etc. We need at least three samples of such work. (At present we are accepting proof of work in English (translated works are welcome). Soon we hope to make it possible to include work in other Indian languages).
  • Be willing to field areas within India on confirmed topic of fellowship.
  • Women, minorities and those living and working in vulnerable areas are especially encouraged to apply.
  • Applicants will be selected based on demonstrated commitment to advancement of environmental health and motivation to work with vulnerable communities.
  • Candidates preferred are in their mid 20s to mid 30s.
  • All applicants must be Citizens of India. 

Expected Output
The selected fellow/s are expected to write a well researched, referenced and analytical essay (7,000 words) on an environmental health issue/concern, based on publicly available and verifiable data, backed by field visits to the affected area/region. Alternatively it could be in the form of a short film or a photo essay. The fellow/s will be required to present their work in a public seminar held on the occasion of Dr. Tekur’s birthday, 22nd November.

Five months – 1st July to 30th November 2023

Fellowship Amount
The fellowship amount is Rs 50,000/- for four months and an additional Rs.10,000/- is available to cover travel, board and lodging costs on a need basis.

Application process
Apply here. All applications need to be filled in English (for the present)
In case you are unable to file the application online, write to us before 1st June 2023 to [email protected] and we will send you the application package.

Application deadline: 5th June 2023.
Selected candidates will be notified by 25th June.
Incomplete applications will not be accepted.

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