BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, March 11: Assam’s Hargila Baideo, Purnima Devi Barman, who regularly scales an 80-foot bamboo platform for her conservation work, has now attained the lofty stature few have attained from Assam. In a ceremony in New Delhi on March 8, 2018, Purnima Devi Barman was conferred on the ‘ri Shakti Purashkar 2017’ at Rashtrapati Bhawan by the President of India, Ram th Kovind.
Purnima Devi Barman’s unswerving mission to conserve the species of endangered Greater Adjutant Storks of Assam and its habitat earned her this award –the highest civilian honour for women in India.
At a special meeting organized for the ‘ri Shakti Purashkar’ Awardees, Prime Minister rendra Modi met Purnima Devi Barman and appreciated her work and the critical need to safeguard the Greater Adjutants from extinction. “I’m very surprised and honoured that the Government has recognized my efforts by conferring on me the highest civilian award for women in India. This award is the best acknowledgment for the communities engaged in Hargila conservation and will inspire others who are involved in similar efforts,” Purnima Devi Barman said. She said that she would like to dedicate the award to all women who are members of the Hargila Army.
Purnima Devi Barman’s project to conserve Greater Adjutants has empowered the local women of Dadara, through livelihood trainings, biodiversity classes and integrating conservation efforts through traditiol rituals.
The award-giving ceremony was conducted at Darbar Hall, Rashtrapati Bhawan, New Delhi on March 9, 2018. Along with Purnima Devi Barman, 30 women working in different sectors and nine institutions were conferred on this award.