Stork Army: Women Fighting for the Hargila, The
1 x 60'
The Greater Adjutant Stork, known locally as the Hargila, is a sight to behold! Standing tall at over 5 feet, with a wingspan of 8 feet – it can be easily mistaken as a creature from prehistoric times.
It was commonly found in wetland regions all the way from Pakistan to Cambodia, but as the human population of this region exploded, the habitat of the bird has steadily dissolved. Only 1,200 of such birds now remain on the entire planet. And most of them continue to live in North-East India, in the state of Assam. But this is no co-incidence.
Local women, led by zoologist Purnima Barman, have made it their mission to save this species from extinction. Their bottom-up approach to species conservation – an approach that uses music, dance, and cultural celebration – is a lesson in environmental activism for the whole world. These women with no formal wildlife training have joined together to form an army in honour of the bird - The Hargila Army.
Taking a deep dive into their weird and wonderful world we follow these women as they help bring awareness about the Hargila to villages and school children. How they self-finance their journey by making and selling “Hargila merchandise”, and how they fight to save every last living bird by rescuing even the ones that fall out of the nests. Together, they have been able to bring a monumental shift in the attitude people had towards this bird, but their goal is far from achieved.