Adding another laurel to her cap, Assam’s Hargila baideo Purnima Devi Barman has been recently conferred with the prestigious Outlook Speak Out Award 2018 by Srimati Smriti Irani, Hon’ble Textile Minister of India. ‘Outlook Speak Out’ is a platform which brings together achievers who have made a difference by pushing the envelope of excellence in their chosen field. It is a platform to be outspoken and to Speak Out. The theme for the 2nd edition of Outlook Speak Out was Women Empowerment and Purnima Devi Barman received the award as an icon for this theme.
An emotional Purnima Barman shared about her work with the audience at the conclave. Her story of overcoming all obstacles to lead a successful campaign for saving an almost extinct bird, the Greater Adjutant Stork of Assam, received thunderous applause from the audience. She also narrated how she climbed up a 100 feet bamboo tower regularly to monitor and study the birds in their natural habitat. Purnima Devi Barman has been working with almost 10 thousand people from several villages in Kamrup District of Assam to evoke community involvement in conservation of the Greater Adjutants, for over a decade.
Purnima Barman commented, that “The toughest challenge is to work with different communities and changing mindsets but if one is deeply involved with their welfare, we can motivate them to bring large scale change in the environment. I am deeply honoured to receive this award and it has motivated me even further.”
The other Awardees were Tiger conservation activist Belinda Wright, TV mogul Ekta Kapoor, Team of Navika Parikrama and Cricketer Jhulan Goswami. Sushmita Sen was also present on the occasion.
Hon’ble Minister of Textile, Smriti Irani was very enthusiastic about Purnima’s work and assured to visit Assam soon.
Previously, Purnima Devi Barman was conferred the prestigious Whitley Awards also known as the Green Oscars in May, 2017 by Whitley Fund for Nature. On International Women’s Day March 8, 2018, Purnima Devi Barman was awarded the Nari Shakti Purashkar 2017 award which was conferred by the country’s president, Ram Nath Kovind, in New Delhi.