Home Inspirational Who Is Padma Shri Parbati Barua? Meet India’s 1st Feminine Mahout

Who Is Padma Shri Parbati Barua? Meet India’s 1st Feminine Mahout

Who Is Padma Shri Parbati Barua? Meet India’s 1st Feminine Mahout


Parbati Barua, also called ‘Hasti Kanya’, is India’s first feminine mahout who was awarded the distinguished Padma Shri on Republic Day, 2024. Right here’s how she fell in love with elephants and devoted her life to the light giants.

On India’s seventy fifth Republic Day, 132 folks have been awarded nationwide honours — 5 Padma Vibhushan, 17 Padma Bhushan, and 110 Padma Shri Awards. Amongst these, Parbati Barua, now in her late sixties, obtained a Padma Shri for her groundbreaking contribution as India’s first feminine elephant mahout.

Born and raised in Assam, Parbati disliked taking part in with dolls. As an alternative, she admired wildlife and loved being open air. She was certainly one of 9 youngsters born to the late Prakritish Chandra Barua of the Royal Household of Gauripur. Prakritish was the ultimate ruler among the many Rajahs of Gauripur.

At a younger age, her affection for the light giants stemmed from her father, who was famend internationally for his experience and data of elephants.

Fondly generally known as ‘Hasti Kanya’, Parbati captured her first elephant on the age of 14 within the Kachugaon forests of the Kokrajhar district. After this preliminary encounter, there was no stopping her. Defying all stereotypes, she grew to become a mahout in 1972 and devoted herself to rescuing elephants.

Her every day routine entails giving her elephants baths, using them within the jungle, and coaching them. She additionally talked about making hadiya (a rice-based deal with) for her beloved elephants, who’ve a passion for liquor.

“They [The elephants] love me as a result of I perceive their sentiments. One name and so they all come working to me,” mentioned Parbati in an India Right this moment interview.

Parbati has three pachyderm daughters: Lakshmimala, Aloka, and Kanchanmala. This trio, together with a group of devoted coworkers, leads an uncommon and adventurous life. “In my job, there are not any retakes,” she says. “Each time I am going to the forests, I consider it as my final journey. However as a mahout, I can by no means retire.”

States like Bihar, West Bengal, and Assam search her help in dealing with rogue tuskers or caring for these injured or ailing.

Through the years, Parbati gained prominence and even grew to become the topic of a BBC documentary titled ‘Queen of the Elephants’.

Amongst her numerous tales of journey is one from West Bengal’s Midnapore district, the place a herd of fifty elephants had misplaced their approach and was on a damaging path. State authorities turned to Parbati, and along with her three elephants and a group of different mahouts, they may information the tuskers alongside the right migratory path after a fortnight of journey.

Persevering with on this adventurous path, Parbati leads a life devoid of contemporary conveniences even at the moment. She makes use of ash as an alternative of toothpaste and sleeps inside a tent on a threadbare mattress, whereas surrounded by the instruments of her commerce — ropes, chains, khukris (a pointy knife), and stirrups.

When she was requested about her fascination with the tuskers, she mentioned to the Firstpost, “Love can’t be defined. Maybe it’s as a result of elephants are very secure, loyal, affectionate and disciplined.”

Edited by Pranita Bhat



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