RANCHI: Several efforts are being made to protect forests by both the Central and Jharkhand Government, but ‘Lady Tarzan’ Jamuna Tudu’s fight for environmental protection has stood out.
Her decade-long struggle to preserve the forests in Chakulia, Jamshedpur have even put her life in danger at times as she took on the mafia head-on, but she perseveres.
“I got a phone call from a relative at around 9:30 pm that my name has been announced for Padma Shri award. I am really happy as I had never thought that I will get such a prestigious award in my life,” said an elated Jamuna.
Her motivation, she says, are her parents. She recalled that her father would plant saplings on his land in Rairangpur, Odisha due to the dearth of natural vegetation in the region.
Jamuna got married to Mansingh, a contractor, in 1998 and moved to the Matrukham village in Chakulia. It was here that she noticed that the surrounding forests they were being cut down.
Her group would patrol the 50-hectare area of the forest carrying hand-made rudimentary weapons like sticks and bows and arrows.
Over time, however, their numbers started to swell. When the group count hit 60, they formed the ‘Mahila Van Rakshan Samiti’.