Dr. Vithal Venkatesh Kamat, second generation restaurateur, a pioneer in green hotels, an environmentalist, an entrepreneur, an educationalist, an antiquarian, an ornithologist, an author, a globetrotter, and a black belt holder in karate, is a versatile personality. Having begun his journey in a small, family-owned vegetarian restaurant, Dr. Vithal Kamat today is CMD of the world's highest award winning – and Asia's first – Ecofriendly hotel. The Orchid. He is also the first man in the hospitality business to have been conferred with an honorary Doctorate of Science (Honoris Causa). This rare honour was bestowed at the sixth convocation ceremony held on 13th April 2012 given under the seal of Padmashree Dr. DY Patil University.

As a green hotelier, he has incorporated the concept of Luxury with responsibility into each of his hotels and restaurants – namely Fort Jadhavgadh-Pune's first museum hotel, Mahodadhi Palace Palace in Puri, Orissa, VITS, Lotus Resorts, a chain of Vithal Kamat vegetarian restaurants and two Five Star Orchid Hotels.

As an environmentalist, he has planted more than 60 lakh trees and transformed over 100 acres of hillock into medicinal plants and local trees for forestation. He is also credited for constructing the first Butterfly Garden in Mumbai and creating more than 28 gardens, and the 'Child Gives Birth to a Mother' monuments in various parts of the country. He inspires and mentors scores of people to take responsibility of our environment and make a difference.

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Dr. Kamat is also involved with more than 1200 ALMs (Advance Locality Management) for maintaining clean and hygienic streets in India. He strongly believes that “We can't command nature except by obeying her”. His mantras of 3 R's – 'Reduce, Reuse and Recycle' and 'No Plastic Bags' have benefited over 3 lakh students and many housing societies through 'Rain Water Harvesting' and 'Wealth from Waste' exhibitions. His annual practices include the conversion of over 200 tons of 'Nirmalya' (flower offerings) into manure after the Ganesh festival immersions in Mumbai.

As a conservationist and an ornithologist by nature, he has created 'Raghu–Chivu Galli' (Parrot & Sparrow Street) in Mumbai, preservation and procreation of Turtle Eggs in Konkan and Orissa, and the conservation of deer near Fort Jadhavgadh, Pune. He has distributed thousands of custom made sparrow bird feeders to his guests as well as employees.


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