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Check out our LIVE interview on BBC Woman's Hour with World Female Ranger Week Founder, Holly Budge, and Purnima Barman, Founder of the Hargila Army in India.


Listen to the full interview here (57 mins) or click on the image below. 


The Greater Adjutant stork used to be called many things: ugly, filthy, a disease-carrying pest, a bad omen. Habitat loss, poaching and poisoning are major threats to Greater Adjutant Storks. ​​​​​​​Purnima began her work with rural communities in Assam, India. Her ‘Hargila Army’ has adopted and celebrates the bird — a gentle giant that typically stands at a height of 5 feet — and has helped turn it into a cultural icon in the state. ​​​​​​​ It, in turn, has turned her into an icon as well. From small beginnings, Barman has built a network of 10,000 rural women as the Hargila Army all committed to protecting this stork and spreading the word about why it is precious. ​​​​​​​​By associating positive festivities with the bird, Purnima believes, she fostered a pride in the rare stork. “Today many women join because it is a matter of prestige to be a part of the Hargila Army.”

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