Lady Tarzan, Jamuna Tudu
Lady Tarzan by Taha Ahmad of the VII Mentor Program for La Croix 1

Jamuna Tudu – Protector Of Trees A.K.A Lady Tarzan of Jharkhand

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There are always some people who make quick money by selling trees illegally from the forest. Jamuna Tudu and five other women confronted a timber mafia in Jharkhand & prevented illegal felling of trees near her village. This group later expanded into an organisation called “Lady Tarzan” for taking on timber mafia & naxals in Jharkhand, Jamuna Tudu was at the forefront of this .

Born on 19 December, 1980, at Mayurbhanj, Odisha, to Bagrai & Bobyshree Murmu, Jamuna married Mansingh Tudu in1988. Jamuna Tudu loved nature from her childhood as she grew up in the lap of nature. By 1998 she had started her journey as an eco activist in her Muturkham village in Chakulia Block of Jharkhand. At that time the forest mafia were indiscriminately cutting down trees in the forest near her village. Seeing this condition of the forest from the door of her house, Jamuna decided to save the trees.

Armed with a bow & arrows she, along with her group of five women confronted the jungle mafia & saved the forest. Her family tried to prevent her, but she continued her campaign of safeguarding the trees. Many times her group was attacked by the tree mafia, but her resolve was absolute.

Sant Tukaram has rightly said in Marathi: Nischayache bal, Tuka mhane techi phal ,meaning a strong determination succeeds. Tudu formed “Vana Suraksha Samiti” to save the forests . The Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has paid rich tributes to Jamuna Tudu & her VSS (Vana Suraksha Samiti) in his Man Ki Baat broadcast by All India Radio & telecast by Doordarshan . Tudu has saved 50 hectares of forest. She has united ten thousand women to save forest wealth.

Jamuna has been awarded the following awards & prizes:
1.Godfrey Phillips National Bravery Award in 2014
2.Women Transforming India in 2017
3.Padmashri for social work in 2019.

Jharkhand Governor Ramesh Bais has described Jamuna Tudu as Rani Lakshmi Bai of 21 st century. Indian Oil has released inspiring & amazing pictures of Women Brigade of Van Suraksha Samiti carrying bows & arrows under the captaincy of eco warrior Jamuna Tudu, calling them as Earth & Energy Heroes. We are going through a period of transition when sustainable development is to be attained while safeguarding our fragile ecosystem . In this national endeavor more Lady Tarzans like Jamuna Tudu are needed to make a better world to live in so that abundant flora & fauna flourish in the lap of Mother Nature. May the tribe of Jamuna Tudu (Lady Tarzan) grow in leaps & bounds!

Govind Tekale

A retired teacher at Sainik School Kazhakootam, besides his lifelong reading passion he is now an avid writer.

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