SUBJECT :Thirteen new eco – crusaders including Usha Lachungpa from Sikkim were honoured at the 6th edition of Balipara Foundation Awards at Guwahati today. 

Gangtok, November 4, 2018: Thirteen new eco – crusaders including Usha Lachungpa from Sikkim were honoured at the 6th edition of Balipara Foundation Awards at Guwahati today. The individuals were presented the awards in recognition of their extraordinary deeds to restore and preserve the pristine beauty of the Himalayas.

The first India lady to do a wildlife and research management course, Lifetime Service Awardee, Usha Lachungpa is a green crusader carrying forward the bio – cultural heritage of the Eastern Himalayans through knowledge and awareness. The award was presented by Diana Owen, Royal Over- Seas League.

Based in Sikkim, Usha Lachungpa has extensive experience as she has worked with the Bombay Natural History Society as a field biologist on a hydro- biology project in Keoladeo National Park and the endangered species project looking for critically threatened lesser and Bengal Floricans in 15 Indian States.

In 1997, she was a recipient of the State Award for the meritorious service by the government of Sikkim and retired as the principal chief research officer and Additional Director for Sikkim Biodiversity Board Aand State project coordinator of UNEP GEF MOEFCCABS Project.

Usha’s extensive research has led to the enabling of other researchers and organization from India and other countries to concentrate on various facets of biodiversity.

The Annual Balipara Foundation Award was accorded to Maksudur Rahman for social impact in Bangladesh and preserving the bio- cultural heritage of the Sunderbans through his organization Bangladesh Environment and Development Society. The award was presented by Mike Korchinsky, Wildlife Works, and USA.

Naturenomics awardee Narmohan Das has pushed the boundaries of sustainability by propagating the production of Ahimsa Silk and creating a circular economy within the silk industry. The Award was presented by Haiya Zhang, World Agroforestry Centre, and China.

The Green Journalist Award was accorded to honorary Wildlife Warden of Kaziranga, Uttam Saikia for educating the forest department through his knowledge and a deep- rooted empathy towards the world heritage site.

Tambor Lyndoh of Meghalaya was accorded the Eastern Himalayan Conservation Award for his contribution towards socio-economic development of forest fringe communities of Mawphlang, Meghalaya. Allowing a safe passage to gentle giants in one of the most affected human-elephant conflict zones, Udalguri, tea planter and Habitat Conservation Awardee Tenzing Bodosa has begun a silent revolution by producing elephant friendly tea.

Dimbeshwar Rabha was accorded the Food for the Future Award for his innovative idea of growing black pepper as an alternate source of livelihood through small farm integration for sustainable agriculture and improved access to market project.

Protecting the wildlife of Fakim Sanctuary Forest Rangers and Guards of the Eastern Himalayas awardee Alemba Yimchunger of Nagaland is an inspirational nature lover who goes beyond the call of duty to preserve nature.

Forest Rangers and Guards of The Eastern Himalayas Awardee Dorji Wangchuck has contributed to social development of forest fringe communities around the Royal Manas Park and helped Bhutan realize its goal to double the tiger population by 2020 by preserving the animal.

Mountaineer and Himalayan lover, Anshu Jamsenpa was the Special Awardee Eastern Himlayan Global Environmental Ambassadors. She is the only woman in the world to ascend Mt. Everest twice in five days.

Special Award Agricultural Revolution in Balipara Country was presented to Mehdi Arif Hussain, the ADO of Balipara. Special Awardee Eastern Himalayan Sports Development Award was presented to High-Altitude Training Centre provides grassroots training to the youth of Mizoram and ample green space.

Custodians of the river pathway to Bhutan’s magical forest land of Manas National Park, the three Generation boatmen – Purshoram  Choudary, Shankar Choudary, Raj Kumar  Choudary, Lokhan Choudary were the Cross- Country Preservation of the Eatern Himalayan Awardees. The award function also witnessed performance by a cultural group, Tezpuria Thespian.

Balipara Foundation founder Ranjit Barthakur, in his address said, “The Balipara Foundation Awards aim to celebrate life. My journey with Balipara Foundation has never been mine but ours.”

Evolutionary ecologist Kamaljit Singh Bawa delivered the Rabindranath Barthakur Memorial Lecture and highlighted the importance of cataloguing the abundance of our natural assets vis a vis our consumption to preserve our forests and the biodiversity in the Eastern Himalayas, on which the lives of millions depend.

Source: Sikkim Express