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Mobilising Assam’s ‘hargila army’: How 10,000 women saved India’s rarest stork

By Anne Pinto-Rodrigues

09 Feb 2023 · 6 min read

Editor's Note

Here's your daily dose of good news ☀️ Greater adjutant storks were seen as bad omens in India, until conservationist, Purnima Devi Barman, inspired thousands of women to come together and save it.

On a cool December afternoon a group of women dressed in brightly coloured mekhela chadors (Assam’s traditional handwoven clothing) sit in a circle on the grass at the Bhokha Beel wetlands, singing and clapping.

Some of the women are wearing papier-mache headdresses shaped like long-necked birds. As they sing, one of them gets to her feet and starts dancing.

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