Siddi tribal woman who worked for women’s empowerment wins Padma Shri

Junagadh (Gujarat): A Siddi tribe woman from Jambur village of Junagadh district in Gujarat, Hirbai Ibrahim Lobi, has been honoured with the Padma Shri award. The Padma Shri Award is the fourth-highest civilian award by the government of India.

The Centre had issued the list of Padma Shri recipients on Wednesday evening on the occasion of the 74th Republic Day.

Hirbai hails from the African-origin Siddi tribe who resides in Jambur village near Gir forest in Gujarat, which is also the home of the pride of India, the Asian lion.

In an exclusive interview with ANI, Hirbai shared her experience of working for the uplift and development of the Siddi tribal community.

Hirabai Lobi has expressed special gratitude to the government of India, President Droupadi Murmu and especially Prime Minister Narendra Modi for honouring her with the Padma Award.


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She spent a large part of her life in the uplift of Siddi tribal women and for the education of children. Till now she has changed the lives of more than 700 women and innumerable children.

Surrounded by Babbar lions, the livelihood of the women of the Siddi community depended on wood cutting, Hirbai told ANI. Being a radio enthusiast, she took it upon herself to support the women of her community.

Since childhood, Hirbai used to get information about women’s development schemes in Siddi through the radio.

She first joined with Agakhan Foundation and then launched a campaign to make women self-reliant by associating with BAIF, a farmer’s organization. So far, she has taught more than 700 women to open bank accounts and save money.

She has played an important role in bringing women forward and also taught them farming. She provided employment to women with the help of social organizations through radio.

Hirabai while speaking to ANI said, “I have not grown trees in the forest, but I have saved the forest from being cut.”

Hirabai lost her parents in childhood and was brought up by her grandmother. She has established several kindergartens with spirit of providing basic education to the children of the Siddi community.

Apart from this, she established the Mahila Vikas Foundation in the year 2004 and has worked tirelessly to make Siddi women self-reliant. Due to these efforts of Hirbai, the women of Jambur helped their families by working in the grocery shops and tailoring.

Till now she has been honoured with various accolades, but when she got the first prize of $500, she put all the money into the development of the village.

So far she has received Real Award from Reliance, Janaki Devi Prasad Bajaj Award and the Green Award.

Read More :- Latest India News

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