Case Study: Mainu Marak
The Special Recognition Award - Environmental & Social Activist was conferred to Mainu Marak from Sonitpur, Assam for socio-economic upliftment of rural women in her village. The Award was presented by Prof. Peter Mortimer at the Kunming Institute of Botany, a specialist in soil ecology
A social and an environmental activist, Mainu Marak is a local hero for the women in her village, who she has socio-economically empowered by integrating their livelihood with conservation. She has given these women a platform to voice sensitive issues like domestic violence and use the platform of SHG to overcome their challenges and create local regulations to protect their forests. In 2007, Mainu and her Group led a resistance conversation against major boulder logging and sand mining interests in the area and the outcome of their efforts led to ban on tree felling and non-intervention from the mining groups. This has allowed Mainu and the SHG to advocate for women’s rights related to forest management and promote women’s access and management of natural resources. Continuing with her efforts, she aims to establish a firewood plantation near her village which will be convenient for the women of the village and reduce their burden to carry firewood from the jungle.