A young Purnima Devi Barman, who spent her early years on the banks of Brahmputra with her late grandmother Padumi Devi, saw nature as her classroom. One of her favorite pastimes was singing traditional songs about the local birds with her grandmother.
Dr. Barman’s admiration for storks inspired her to pursue a Ph.D. after earning a Master’s in Zoology so she could study more about Hargila. This bird played a significant role in her childhood.
Her inclination to preserve storks was inevitable given that she had spent her infancy surrounded by the beauty of nature. This passion for serving nature has helped her to be the highest UN Environmental Award winner in 2022.
|Name||Purnima Devi Barman|
|Date of Birth||N.A.|
|Place of Birth||Pub Majir Gaon, Kamrup region, Assam|
|– Founder of Hargila Army|
|– Senior Project manager of the Avifauna Research and Conservation Division, Aaranyak|
|Designation||Founder of Hargilla Army|
|Children||2 daughters (Sampriti Barman & Sanskriti Barman)|
Vision and Work done by Hargila Army
When you talk to Stork Sister, as she is famously known, Dr. Barman loves to display a piece of gamosa up near the camera. The Hargila bird is embroidered on this traditional Assamese garment. Thanks to the army of women, inspired by her vision who grasped the significance of ecosystem balance have helped in ensuring that Hargila is today synonymous with Kamrup.
The energy and magnetism of Dr. Purnima Devi Barman were responsible for this transformation. She organized games that raised awareness of biodiversity, started door-to-door awareness campaigns, and gave women a voice during traditional culinary competitions and dancing performances. People started to take note of her efforts and started to support her selflessly and change started to come into the mainstream environment.
The Hargila Army is made up of about 10,000 women who take part in programs for bird rescue and conservation, educate people about the bird, and raise awareness. Nowadays even schools in the region instruct kids about the Hargila birds.
Sampriti and Sanskriti Barman, who have followed their mother’s progress in the field of bird conservation, remark that their mother Dr. Devi Barman has provided a great role model for women. Change comes from the pious vision that a person envisions, and after that, the common people in the society do come around to implement that vision. And Dr. Purnima Devi Barman has displayed time and again that this is very much possible.
Awards and Honors
|2009||– Future Conservationist Award|
|2015||– Leadership Award from Conservation Leadership Program (CLP)|
|2016||– Earth Hero Award from Royal Bank of Scotland|
|– UNDP India Biodiversity Award|
|– Balipara Foundation’s Green Guru Award|
|2017||– Whitley Award (aka Green Oscar), presented by Anne, Royal Princess of the UK.|
|– Nari Shakti Puraskar, presented by the President of India|
|– Bharat Sanchar Roll of Honour by BSNL|
|– FIICI FLO Women Achiever Award from North East|
|2022||– Champions of the Earth award in the Entrepreneurial Vision category, UN’s highest environmental Honour|
|2011||Conservation Initiatives for Greater Adjutant in Assam, India|
|2014||– Greater Adjutant conservation through community participation in Assam, India.|
|2015||-> largest breeding colony of Greater Adjutant, Leptoptilos dubius Gmelin, in Dadara-Pasariya-Singimari Villages in Assam, India.|
|-> Rescue, Treatment, and Release of an Endangered Greater Adjutant Leptoptilos dubius.|
|2017||-> Behavioural ethogram of the endangered greater Adjutant Stork Leptoptilos dubius (Gmelin).|
|2020||Foraging analysis of Endangered Greater Adjutant Stork Leptotilus dubios (Gemlin) in the certain habitat of Assam, India.|