S.R. Hiremath is founder and president of Samaja Parivartana Samudaya (SPS), Dharwad, Karnataka. SPS is a leading organization in India in the field of environment and ecology. He served as chief executive from 1984–2009, and was centrally associated with the common lands movement in Karnataka—which restored 75,000 acres of common lands through public interest litigation (PIL) in the Supreme Court of India—and other areas of the country. Mr. Hiremath played a key role in the successful movement against pollution of the Tungabhadra river and took a leading part in the well-known Save the Western Ghats March (SWGM) that helped in the formulation of the New National Forest Policy in 1988. SPS was awarded the “Indira Ghandi Paryavaran Puraskar” by the Government of India in 1992.
The most recent Supreme Court PIL led to the halt of illegal mining in Karnataka and the CBI enquiry and subsequent jailing of notorious Gali Janardan Reddy, his associates, several MLAs and senior officials involved in the worst illegal mining scandal in the country. The Supreme Court passed several significant orders that led to a ban on mining for more than a year and a landmark final order. Mr. Hiremath is currently the president of the National Committee for Protection of Natural Resources (NCPNR) which spearheaded the successful National Campaign for Protection of Forest Lands, illegal mining, and, of late, land grab issues. He has served as founder and president of the Federation of Voluntary Organization for Rural Development in Karnataka (FEVORD-K) and India Development Service (IDS). Mr. Hiremath has received several awards for his work including the Rajyotsava Award for Rural Development and Environment in 1987. He served as board member on the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) and the state level.