Padma Shree Triumph of Chami Murmu: A True Tribal Warrior for Mother Nature

Padma Shree Triumph of Chami Murmu: A True Tribal Warrior for Mother Nature

Chami Murmu, an Indian environmentalist, is the founder of Sahayogi Mahila Bagraisai, an organization responsible for planting over 3 million trees in Jharkhand. 

She has empowered 30,000 women through self-help groups and was honored with the Padma Shri award in 2024. Recognized as a true tribal warrior, Murmu has significantly contributed to environmental causes in her home state of Jharkhand.

The narrative unfolds with the intriguing question: How did a poor village girl transform into an environmental hero?

This query prompts reflection on the inspiring journey of Chami Murmu, a dedicated woman from Jharkhand committed to restoring the green cover of her land and uplifting the status of rural women.

Despite grappling with poverty, oppression, and personal tragedy, Murmu remained steadfast in pursuing her dreams, becoming a beacon of inspiration for millions of women nationwide.

Chami Murmu, an Indian environmental activist, has devoted her life to revitalizing the green cover of her native land and improving the lives of rural women.

As the founder and secretary of Sahayogi Mahila Bagraisai, a women-led organization, she orchestrated the planting of over 3 million trees in more than 500 villages in Jharkhand.

In recognition of her remarkable achievements, she was bestowed with the Padma Shri in 2024, a prestigious civilian honor, during India's 75th Republic Day celebration.

The Ministry of Tribal Affairs conveyed heartfelt congratulations, acknowledging her as a "true tribal warrior" who planted over 30 lakh plants and empowered 30,000 women through self-help groups.

Chami Murmu's life journey unfolds from tragedy to activism. Born in 1973 in Bagraisai village, Rajnagar block, Seraikela Kharsawan district, she faced early hardships with the loss of her father and elder brother.

Serving as the sole guardian for her three siblings and an ailing mother, she had to abandon school after class 10, working as a laborer to make ends meet. Murmu received the Nari Shakti Puraskar from former President Ram Nath Kovind in 2019.

In 1988, a transformative meeting introduced Murmu to the significance of tree plantations and environmental conservation. Inspired, she embarked on a mission to plant trees in her village, overcoming opposition from male community members and challenges posed by the timber mafia.

Realizing the need for collective action, she founded Sahayogi Mahila Bagraisai in 1996, starting with 11 members. The group established a nursery and planted saplings in barren lands, nurturing various species and protecting existing trees from illegal loggers.

Over the years, the group expanded its activities, growing to over 3,000 members and planting more than 3 million trees in 500 villages. Their initiatives encompass water conservation, organic farming, women’s empowerment, and education.

Murmu's efforts garnered national and international recognition, including the Indira Priyadarshini Vrikshamitra Award in 1996, Nari Shakti Puraskar in 2019, and the Padma Shri in 2024. Termed the "Lady Tarzan of Jharkhand," alongside activist Jamuna Tudu, Murmu's story serves as a source of inspiration, showcasing the transformative power of passion and perseverance in making a positive impact on the environment and society.

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