Pushpanath Krishnamurthy

“When I walk I sing a Tamil revolutionary song, by Poet Bharathi, it says “even if the big blue sky falls on your forehead, be fearless, fearless, fearless”. I’m this old fragile guy walking and telling stories. If I can do that, then you can do even better. Be fearless. Seek truth, speak truth, speak truth to power. Take a step, step forward and step up.” – Pushpanath Krishnamurthy

Pushpanath (Push) is a long distance walker, storyteller, singer, grandfather, global campaigner, fair trade promoter and lifetime anti- poverty activist.

Push walks for global climate justice. Push’s first climate walk was 15 years ago, when he walked to the COP 15 Climate Summit in Copenhagen. Since then, he has taken over 40 million steps as a walking activist, walked across Europe, IN South and Western india and in Africa , to Glasgow and beyond. While walking, he amplifies the stories of poor communities who are severely affected by climate change but constantly adapt and peacefully resist unequal power structures. He believes it is essential to seek and speak truth to power.

Walking has been a lifetime practice for Push. As a young boy in Bangalore – known as India’s IT capital and the ‘Garden City’ – Push walked across the city selling food, coffee, and more. South Bangalore’s social literature and progressive theatre scene, as well as Mahatma Ghandi’s wisdom, fed Push’s hunger for truth and justice. These ideas have inspired his 30+ years of work with Oxfam and his activism.

Push often sings in Tamil and Kannada and other Indian languages while walking and strikes up conversation with folks he meets along the way. Especially women and communities feeling the impact of climate change. Amazingly, Push completes all his walks with no corporate sponsorship or mass fundraising. He finds support, hospitality and warmth from local communities, usually in places he has never been and with people he has never met. Push is continuously heartened – but not at all surprised – to see that a normal guy like him can be welcomed into new communities without fear. Push sees that essential goodness in humans as an incredible story. He finds great hope and inspiration in young people and in older generations, like the grannies he has met in Uganda, who continue to reimagine and adapt to climate challenges. If they bounce back with hope, who are we not to feel hope?