Wildlife conservationist from Assam, Purnima Devi Barman, known for her efforts for the conservation of the Greater Adjutant Stork and its habitat, has been nominated for the prestigious Whitley Awards 2017, also called the Green Oscar.

This prestigious international prize honours exceptional individuals working in grassroots nature conservation in the developing countries, and who often face humanitarian, environmental and political challenges in the projects they undertake.

Purnima Devi Barman has been engaged in conservation of the Greater Adjutant Storks and their habitats for several years. Her conservation efforts in Dadara village of Kamrup district are widely known. Earlier, she was given the RBS Save the Species Award 2016 for her efforts.

The Dadara village near Hajo in Assam has over 1,000 storks now. Villagers and wildlife experts give credit to Purnima Devi Barman and the hard work and dedication she has put in all these years.

“It all started in early 2009 when Aaranyak, a society for biodiversity conservation, took up an initiative for the conservation of the bird and entrusted me to create awareness among the locals,” said a happy Barman, who quit her job as a college teacher so that she could devote herself to its conservation.

Purnima Devi Barman regularly visits the villages and organizes awareness campaigns relentlessly among the locals, through posters, banners, street plays etc. Roads in Dadara, Pacharia and Singimari are all spruced up with posters and banners with messages to save the bird.

The Whitley Fund for Nature (WFN), a Britain-registered charity, has announced the shortlist of six finalists for the Whitley Awards 2017.

Another Indian in the list, Sanjay Gubbi, has been nominated for his efforts to reduce deforestation in Karnataka’s tiger corridors.

The final results will be announced at a special evening ceremony on May 18 at the Royal Geographical Society in London.

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