Recipient, Shambhavi Puraskar 2016
“Sambhav”, Nayagarh, Odisha
Ms. Sabarmatee began her journey of serving the interests of Nature and Humanity in Nayagarh, Odisha, with a strong academic foundation in Economics and Rural Development followed by experience as project officer with OXFAM. She has made a phenomenal impact on a wide gamut of areas like conservation of forests, ecological regeneration of waste land, biodiversity conservation, sustainable agriculture through experimentation, implementation and dissemination of organic farming techniques and promotion of village sanitation and hygiene. Her exemplary work in gender issues include organizing women groups to identify and tackle issues, and providing technical knowhow for skill development and support in crisis. With passion, dedication and an indomitable spirit she has succeeded in converting 90 acres of barren land into jungles with the help of local village communities; increased production of 452 indigenous varieties of Rice by promoting organic farming and SRI (System of Rice Intensification) process; empowered village women and the disabled through self-sustenance, by developing innovative agricultural tools for organic farming and kitchen gardens.
Over the years ‘Sambhav’, the NGO set up by Sabarmatee , has emerged as a Centre of Excellence in Odisha for information dissemination, training and research in organic farming and watershed development; benefitting large number of farmers, NGOs, university students, academia and local government officials . She has the rare distinction of not only changing the surrounding environment but also the mindset of people towards environment conservation, organic farming and women empowerment - exhibiting how small steps enable a giant leap.
The Bansidhar & Ila Panda Foundation has the privilege of recognizing Ms Sabarmatee as an excellent and innovative social catalyst; an example of hope and endless possibilities for the environment and humanity, and confers upon her the Shambhavi Puraskar for the year 2016.
We wish her all the best for her journey ahead.