Indians have won two of the four Ashden Awards 2004, considered 'Green Oscars', and a cash prize of £30,000 each for their inspirational and innovative renewable energy projects.
Goverdhan Rathore, founder of the Prakratik Society in Ranthambhore, Rajasthan, bagged the Climate Care Award and the cash prize for providing villages around the Ranthambhore Tiger reserve with a cleaner, greener alternative to firewood in the form of biogas.
Hemant Lamba and his team at the international township of Auroville in south India succeeded in delivering affordable and reliable renewable energy products and services (in the form of solar panels) in 12 states, benefiting 80,000 people.
Binu Parthan of IT Power, also of India, received the runners-up prize of £7,500 for designing a smoke-free, fuel-efficient stove that cuts the wood requirement by 70 per cent.
Sir David Attenborough presented the awards in the presence of a packed house at the Royal Geographical Society in London on Thursday night.
Among those present were Jonathon Porritt, chair of the UK government's Sustainable Development Commission and Andrew Simms, policy director, New Economics Foundation.
The Ashden Trust, one of the Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts, created the Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy in 2001.