I believe “No one is born criminal and with love we can change lives.”
Growing up in a small tribal town of Assam I was always inclined towards the tribal way of life and wanted to do something to make their lives better.
My life took a drastic turn when my father was kidnapped by militants. But I didn’t blame them because I knew only education could bring a change in northeastern region. So I took things in my hands and started working for them.
This Incident shaped my life as a tribal rights activist, rehabilitating militants in Assam and helping its residents lead quality lives.
Somewhere around this time I completed my masters in criminal psychology and got married. In fact with the support of my husband I began extending help to Kumbis and Siddhis, tribal’s from the Uttara Kannada district in Karnataka.
I feel determination gets you a long way and I feel blessed to have this opportunity to be the voice of lakhs of tribal’s across India and bring a change in Tribal community.
So here I am working single handedly building educational infrastructures and community halls in tribal habitats and fighting for their empowerment for over 19 years now.
In 2014, I was shot by the militants, dragged to the forest and left to die, I was unconscious but eventually I was rescued by the army. But you know what these same people now believe in me and are my biggest volunteers.
I also encourage women to use biodegradable sanitary napkins under the sustainable menstruation project. More than 30000 women have been benefitted under this program.
This initiative also generates income for them and solves their hygiene problems.
I have been honoured with many awards including Karamveer chakra are Kalki Gaurav Samman, Rashtriya Suraksha Bal Samman, Iconic Personality Award etc.
These people are the one who love me most. They honor me by washing my feet and call me ‘Maa and Phi’
I love what I do so nothing seems hurdle or a problem when you are passionate about things you do.
The only thing my husband says while I am leaving is ‘Please come back I one piece.’
I know it’s a risk but as I always say – I can’t be a soldier with a uniform but I can be one with my deeds.
I am not afraid to die and will continue to rehabilitate militants in Northeast!
(Interviewed and written by Raavya Sarda)