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DataWind’s Suneet Singh Tuli, Innovative Entrepreneur and Environmental Supporter Recognized at the Buckingham Palace
London, December 21, 2014: Suneet Singh Tuli, a Sikh IT businessman and representative of EcoSikh, was praised at a luncheon at Buckingham Palace. Suneet Singh Tuli, who was there to attend a lunch hosted by Buckingham Palace in celebration of faith-based environmentalism, was recognized for his efforts to make technology available to the poor in the world and for his support for environmental initiatives. Tuli has recently joined the board of EcoSikh, a Washington-based international Sikh environmental organization.
His Royal Highness Prince Philip hosted a celebratory reception and lunch at Buckingham Palace. The Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC), a 19-year-old organization founded by HRH Prince Philip, had gathered representatives of world faiths as well representatives of secular bodies like the World Bank, the Rabo Bank Foundation and The Nature Conservancy at the celebration.
Martin Palmer, the Secretary General of ARC, in a special mention recognized the contribution of Tuli for his innovation to provide low-cost technology to underprivileged youth in India and Africa.
Dr. Rajwant Singh, President of EcoSikh, introduced Suneet Tuli to HRH Prince Philip, and highlighted his passion to be involved in environmental causes through EcoSikh.
He explained how Tuli’s tablet and platform, which is sold for under $40, can change the game for the poor youth in the developing world. “We are excited that a person with such energy and wide horizon is becoming a warrior for Mother Earth. His technological inventions can be used to educate masses about the cause of nature preservation as well,” Dr Singh said.
Tuli, 44, is the co-founder and CEO of DataWind, cited for the development of Aakash and UbiSlate tablets, also known as the world’s lowest cost tablet computers. His low-cost tablet computer was designed to empower billions of people with access to affordable computing and Internet access. The tablet was launched in 2012 at the United Nations by UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon. Forbes Magazine named Tuli as one of the world’s top 15 classroom revolutionaries in its 2012 “Impact 15” list of people around the world who harness technology to change education. Tuli received the Intelligent Community Visionary award of the Year for 2014. MIT in its Tech Review of 2014 recognized DataWind as one of the Smartest Companies
Tuli expressed his concern for the degradation of environment in India and elsewhere, especially the consequences of climate change. He said, “It is important that faiths inspire its adherents to take action on this critical issue. We are impressed with HRH Prince Philip’s commitment to environmental preservation and wild life protection. The world needs such visionary leaders who can take a bold stand on these issues.”
At the lunch at Buckingham Palace, ARC highlighted the four autonomous new environmental movements, which represent the cause of faith-based environmentalism. These initiatives were launched by ARC and as well as EcoSikh, they include Faithful Farming – a conservation agriculture project in Africa; Faith in WASH – a program to work with faiths to promote the availability of fresh water and good hygiene practices in schools worldwide; and a new ARC partnership with The Nature Conservancy. Alongside this, ARC’s well-established China program will continue in partnership with The Valley Foundation, a Dutch NGO.
Key invitees at the Palace included:
Brian Pilkington (Chair of ARC’s Board of Trustees since 1996)
Raffaello Cervigni (lead environmental economist for the Africa region of the World Bank)
Yuan Fan (Deputy General Manager of China Daily, UK)
Master GE Huifang (from the Loguan Daoist Temple)
Pierre L. van Hedel (Managing Director of the Rabobank Foundation, the social fund of the large Dutch bank)
Olav Kjørven (Director of the Public Partnerships Division at UNICEF)
Gopal Patel (Director of The Bhumi Project, an initiative that works with the international Hindu community to raise awareness about environmental concerns)
Allerd Stikker (CEO of the Valley Foundation)
Dr. Rajwant Singh (Founder and Chairman of the Sikh Council on Religion and Education (SCORE) who helped launch EcoSikh in 2009)
Jean-Pierre Sweerts (Chairman of the Board of DOB Foundation)
Bishop Walter S. Thomas, Sr. (from the New Psalmist Baptist Church in Baltimore, Maryland
Suneet Singh Tuli (CEO of Datawind who co-founded the Aakash tablet and has worked with NGOs in India and Africa to provide the tablet to millions of students)
Peter Wheeler (Executive Vice President of The Nature Conservancy)
Suneet Singh and Sikh environmental work is being introduced to Prince Philip by Dr. Rajwant Singh. Left to right: Prince Philip, Suneet Tuli, Rajwant Singh and Victoria Finlay, EcoSikh’s board member.
Various guests at the Buckingham Palace
Suneet Tuli in conversation with Olav Kjørven of UNICEF
Suneet Tuli being welcomed at the Buckingham Palace