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Jayati Godhawat

IWB Blogger

Meet The Two Indian Conservationists Who Won The ‘Green Oscars’

  • IWB Post
  •  May 18, 2017


Out of 166 entries for the annual Whitely Awards, which is popularly called as the ‘Green Oscars,’ two Indian activists emerged as winners of the award, this year, for their contribution in the field of animal and bird conservation in India.

Assam’s Purnima Barman and Karnataka’s Sanjay Gubbi along with other four global winners were felicitated with the Green Oscars and were awarded 35,000 pounds (INR 30 lacs approx) prize money each as their project funding.

The 37-year-old conservationist Purnima created an all-female network to save the Greater Adjutant storks or Hargila and its wetland habitat in Assam.

An endangered species, Hargila storks are large scavenger birds with a global population of just 1,200, out of which 75% inhabit in Assam.  Under her NGO Aaranyak, the women earn sustainable livelihoods through weaving traditional Assamese scarves and saris and the revenue generated from the sale is used as funds for their conservation project, too. The numbers of stork nests have risen from 30 seven years ago to over 150 today, as reported by the Telegraph.

“Getting the Whitley Award is the dream of every conservationist. I am honored and humbled to be recognized 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,” said Purnima.

On the other hand, Sanjay Gubbi has won the prestigious award for his contribution towards protection and conservation of Karnataka’s tiger corridors. An electrical engineer, Sanjay quit his job to work as an environmentalist and conserve nature.

Sanjay along with the state government secured the largest expansion of protected areas for the conservation of tigers in Karnataka, in 2012.

With the prize money of 35000 pounds, Sanjay wishes to reduce deforestation in two important wildlife sanctuaries which connect several protected areas and act as corridors for tigers, allowing them to move between territories, reported SchoopWhoop.

IWB congratulates Purnima Barman and Sanjay Gubbi for their exemplary work in the field of wildlife conservation in India and wishes them all the best for their future endeavors.

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