Jamuna Tudu: The Lady Tarzan of Jharkhand
Early Life and Activism
Jamuna Tudu was born on December 19, 1980, in Rairangpur of Mayurbhanj, Odisha, India. When she was 18 years old, she decided to fight for the forests and took up bows and arrows to combat and track timber mafiosi and report them to cops. Jamuna Tudu loves nature very much, and her journey started in 1998 when she reached her mother-in-law’s Muturkham village in Chakulia block after her marriage. At that time, the forest mafia was indiscriminately cutting down trees in the forest near Muturkham village.Seeing this condition of the forest visible from the door of the house, Jamuna decided to save the trees and hit the jungle mafia, and the process continued. Jamuna was prevented by the family from doing all this, but she set out on a campaign to unite the women of the village and save the forest. Many times they were subjected to deadly attacks, but Jamuna never gave up, and the decision to save the forest was upheld. Tudu formed “Van Suraksha Samiti’ along with five other women to prevent illegal felling of trees near her village, and this later expanded.
Awards and Achievements
Jamuna Tudu is an Indian environmental activist who is called ‘Lady Tarzan’ for taking on the Timber mafias and Naxals in Jharkhand. She is also the founder of “Van Suraksha Samiti’ which prevents illegal felling of trees near her village in Jharkhand. She was awarded India’s fourth-highest civilian award, the Padma Shri in 2019, and the Godfrey Phillips Bravery Award in 2014.Tudu was a winner in the 2017 Women Transforming India awards and was appreciated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for her work in his Mann ki Baat addresses. In his speech, he highlighted that Yamuna Tudu did the adventure of taking iron from the timber mafia and Naxalites. Not only did she save 50 hectares of forest from ravaging, but united 10,000 women and motivated them to protect trees and wildlife. It is great that today the villagers plant 18 trees on the birth of a child and 10 trees on the marriage of girls.
Joining Forces to Protect Forests
In 2020, it was announced that Jamuna Tudu and Chami Murmu were to join forces to protect Jharkhand’s forests. They were both called the Lady Tarzans in the press. Chami Murmu has 3,000 members in her organization, and together they hope to find some synergy.
Jamuna Tudu’s determination and activism have brought significant changes to her village and inspired women in the region to protect their environment. Her work and achievements have made her a role model for many young women in India, and her legacy will continue to inspire future generations.