Assam’s Purnima Barman, who known as the force behind the ‘Hargila Army’ and for her efforts for the conservation of the Greater Adjutant Stork and its habitat, has won the Whitley Awards 2017.
This award is also know as the ‘Green Oscars’.
The Telegraph quoted a statement issued by the Whitley Fund as saying, “Purnima has mobilised followers into the ‘Hargila Army’, an all-female team of conservationists dedicated to protecting the greater adjutant stork which, through this programme, are offered sustainable livelihood, training and education opportunities. The project is giving marginalised women a voice. Together they are changing local perceptions and numbers of stork nests have risen from 30 seven years ago to over 150 today.”
The report says that £35,000 in project funding will be given to Purnima during a ceremony at the Royal Geographical Society in London.
As IANS had reported, the award is presented to those who work in the grassroots in developing countries. The Whitley Fund for Nature is a Britain registered charity.
The report said that Barman has been involved in the conservation Greater Adjutant Storks — called Hargila is Assamese — for seven year which even earned her the name of ‘Hargila Baideu’ meaning stork sister in the Dadara village.
Speaking to The Telegraph, Burman said, “Getting the Whitley Award is the dream of every conservationist. I am honoured and humbled to be recognised in this way. Working with people is not always easy, but it’s rewarding to see the impact we can make when we all work collaboratively to protect the fantastic species that the greater adjutant stork is. I want to dedicate this award to the communities of Kamrup district in Assam who are working with me to make a difference.”