Our Chairperson

Our Chairperson

Sanjukta Basa has had an very humble beginning, residing in one of the most backward tribal district of Orissa. sanjuktaShe has carved a niche for her self by rendering selfless service for the emancipation of woman in the district of Mayurbhanj.

Tirelessly she has been garnering support for woman empowerment and creating awareness among the masses to detest “AKHANDA SIKARA” and infuse in them their “FOREST RIGHTS”. Being armed with numerous “SELF HELP GROUPS” she has fought against illegal mining and showed ways to be liberally dependent on the forest.

Innumerable “VAN SURAKSHYA SAMITI” has been formed at the village level where in at least one adult female and male of a family are members. These Samiti members have played imported role in greening their depleted village forest. They are taught to tackle forest fires and are ever vigilant to protect their forest cover.

The local adivasis have lot of rituals where in they flock together to offer their prayers. It is these gathering wherein she along with her group members congregate to teach and explain the Tribals the importance of Environment and ways to properly maintain their forest.

Advertisement in the shape of walling is undertaken at all important places of the villages wherein pictorial graphics are made explaining the importance of the Green cover in ones life and being kind to wild animals that roam around their forest.

Sanjukta along with her environmentalist friend Mr. Vanoo Mitra Acharya and few STPF staff were the first individuals to visit the SimilipalForest area after the Maoist blew off important infrastructure of the forest department inside the Similipal forest range.

Her selfless work has widely been appreciated both in the print and electronic media. On several occasions she has brought to the notice of the media regarding illegal mining, elephant poaching and other need based project to be undertaken for the better health of the forest. Along with her volunteers, they have started “SIMILIPAL SURAKSHYA AVIJAN MANCH”, under which banner they tour the entire core and buffer zone of the Similipal Forest Range, organizing meetings and rallies to bring to the notice of the tribals their forest rights, Government Projects being initiated for them. “Similipal Surakshya Avijan Manch” has played an important role after the Maoist attack on Similipal. As the total government machinery had collapsed, members of the Manch played a key role in curbing the poachers and Timber mafia.

Being associated with a NGO “LIBERAL ASSOCIATION FOR MOVEMENT of PEOPLE” (LAMP) since 1996 she started her career as Secretary of LAMP, ODISSA. It is here where she was exposed to the grass root members of the society. Since her concern for Similipal Biosphere was high on her agenda she presiding as chairperson of “SANGRAM” a registered Non Government Organisation concern whose mission is to educate, train and infuse amongst the tribals about the importance of Forest and Environment. .Panchayat Raj empowers the people of their rights, duties and commitment to the society that they inhabit. As a trainer out of training time volunteerly  she is  greatly associated with the people to make the tribals aware of their rights and  role in Panchayat Raj system for their areas developmental activities.. Presiding over their monthly review meeting she has focused my attention to two sensitive areas of Similipal viz. Barehipani and Astokuanr Gram-Panchayat  of Jashipur Block of Mayurbhanj District wherein  Role of PRIs members  for Protection of Similipal and wild life.

Her fight for the greening of Similipal Biosphere continues. It needs a great support base and a determined mind to reach greater heights.

Specific instances:

The job of Sanjukta has never been a cat walk. Tackling the timber mafia has been a tough nut to crack. The forest and environment awareness projects undertaken by me has resulted in villagers posing a threat to the timber mafia. March 26th 2003 at Budhikhamari village under Bangriposi Forest Range she was physically assaulted by the Timber Mafia and kept in confinement for about 08(eight) hours. However, with the help of locals and police she was rescued.

MARCH-2006–  in recognition of her work on forest and Environment “BROEDERLIJK DELEN” a Belgium based funding agency on Forest Environment and Tribal Development invited her to participate in an International Seminar “VICE VERSA WORLD PARTY”.

Since 2006 she adorn the chair of Honorary WILD LIFE WARDEN, Mayurbhanj, Which has been assigned to her for her work which involves a wide cross section of people of our Districts.

For her exemplary work, she has been selected as a member of the “Similipal Periphery Development Committee” which is headed by the Revenue District Commissioner.

The two member committee which included Sanjukta and Vanoo  to probe the jumbo poaching was formulated by “The Regional Chief Conservator of Forest”. In 2010, strategies to curb jumbo poaching as stated by us has been well appreciated by the Forest Department of late she has been also assigned as an member of a State Level Co-ordination Committee for redressal of administrative problems at Similipal, Orissa. This body has been constituted at the instance of NTCA, Ministry of Environment and Forest, Government of India.

Awards & Felicitations:

  1. 2003-“PRAKRUTI MITRA”– Presented at LAMP- BANGRIPOSI. For forestation and saving the forest cover. Instituted by the Forest and Environment Department, Government of Orissa.
  2. 2009- “ADARSHA SAMAJ SEVIKA”– in recognition of spreading the spirit of LAMP (Liberal Association for Movement of People) in orissa. Award instituted by SATTAR SMRUTI SANSAD of Sukinda, Jajpur.
  3. 2010- “PAKRUTI BANDHU”– in recognition of harbouring unflinching support aware of Environment and wild life. Award being instituted by the Forest and Environment Department, Government of Orissa.
  4. Certificate of appreciation by CMS Environment, Bhubaneswar CMS VATAVARAN Environment and wildlife film festival & Forum 2010, Felicitated for pioneering role in environmental Conservation.