The 7th Balipara Foundation Social Recognition Awards 2019
Empowering Grassroots Leadership to Facilitate Community conservation and Environmental Protection
Guwahati, 6th November, 2019: Following the two-days long, Eastern Himalayan Naturenomics™ Forum 2019, that served as a platform for exchanging dialogue on identifying and capitalizing on natural resources to deliver universal basic assets to the forest-fringe communities of the Eastern Himalayas, the 7th Balipara Foundation Social Recognition Awards was held, at Hotel Palacio, Guwahati.
The Balipara Social Recognition Awards introduced by the Balipara Foundation in 2013, stands as a platform to reward and encourage the efforts of grassroots conservationist and social entrepreneurs working tirelessly towards preserving the rich biodiversity of the Eastern Himalayas.
The 7th Balipara Foundation Social Recognition Awards, celebrated 14 winners across 7 states and 4 countries. The Annual Balipara Foundation Award was presented to Bengia Manna Sonam, from Arunachal Pradesh by the honorable Ambassador Chandrasekhar Dasgupta. Bengia Manna Sonam, leveraging rural tourism and the homestay movement, facilitated economic independence for women, driving them to conserve local traditions and natural resources.
Kürütsechu Self Help Group from Nagaland, won the Naturenomics™ Award, presented by Dr. Dibakar Goswami, Hydrogeologist from Washington State Dept. of Ecology, for their initiative to restore and revive a heritage practice-cotton cultivation, and in the process, propel communities towards a sustainable rural future. The Young Naturalist Award went to Ganga Limbu from Nepal, a visual storyteller and educator, associated with the Vertical University project by KTK-Belt. The award was presented by renowned actor Victor Banerjee.
Rohini Ballave Saikia, spearheading some of the crucial conservation and anti-poaching initiatives, in the Kaziranga National Park, won the Eastern Himalayan Conservation Award, presented by Dr. Vibha Dhawan, Senior Director at TERI. The Green Guru Award, this year, went to Dr. Sherub from Bhutan for bird conservation and documentation of bird songs and Dr. Zabed Hossain from Bangladesh for remarkable achievement in the field of Botany. The titles were presented by Rima Das, filmmaker and Karuna Singh from Earth Day Network respectively.
The Food for the Future Award was received by Mahan Chandra Borah from Assam, for preserving unique indigenous rice seeds to help farmers reach greater output. The award was presented by RJ Alia. Moriangthem Loiya Ngamba, from Manipur, who transformed acres of barren land into a verdant forest, won the Nature Conservancy Award, presented by Ravneet Pawha, Executive Director of Deakin University. The Forest Rangers and Guards Award went to Sherab Dorji from Bhutan, presented by Sangeeta Barathakur Goswami an educator working with special needs students in Washington State. Tanzema Elephant Friendly Village, also from Bhutan, received the Special Recognition Award for resolving man-animal conflict and successfully restoring elephant habitat. The award was presented by Riniki Bhuyan Sarma, Entrepreneur, Philanthropist and Media magnate.
Sagar Mehta won the prestigious Lifetime Service Award for his relentless effort, for over 65 years, towards revolutionizing community conservation and mobilizing masses to implement afforestation drive and restore water bodies. He is currently the President of the Koomtai Tea Estate. He received the honor from Ms. Devika Dasgupta – a passionate educator who has spent her life in teaching young children in India & China and Ranjit Barthakur, Founder of the Balipara Foundation and.
The Balipara Foundation Social Recognition Award for Social Entrepreneurship was received by Hasina Kharbhih of Meghalaya, for starting Impulse network in an effort to help the women of several villages apply their skills to develop a sustainable livelihood. The award was presented by A. M. Singh, Principal Chief Conservator and Head of Forest Force, Govt. of Assam, India.
Special Recognition Award, in the category of Mushrooms for Food Security went to Bilinso Syiemlieh Kong of Meghalaya, presented by Ram Muiyah; and in the category of Interdisciplinary Environmentalism, to Biswendu Bhattacharjee from Tripura, presented by Rekha Poddar.
The recipients of Naturenomics™ Essay Award were Pritisha, Janifar, and Raktim from Assam, and Naturenomics™ Art Award were Samaira Navya, Abhigyan, and Urjit, also from Assam, presented by renowned environmentalist, Purnima Devi Barman, Hargila baideu and Ashwani Anand, General Manager, Taj Hotel, respectively.
The 7th Balipara Foundation Social Recognition Awards hosted Vance Martin, President – WILD Foundation, USA for the 7th Rabindranath Barthakur Memorial Lecture and bore witness to Angaraag Papon Mahanta’s soulful tunes blending nature and music.
Balipara Foundation has been working extensively towards building a Rural Futures and towards this has launched the first Rural Futures publication, Rural Futures: 21st Century Transformation for the Naturenomics™ Future.
Balipara Foundation, through the 7th Social Recognition Awards, salutes all Naturenomics™ stewards and earth heroes in the Eastern Himalayas.