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Crusader honour

Munger, Jan. 31: Jaya Devi, known as the Green Lady of Munger, has been selected for the prestigious Rotary International Woman of Substance Award at the NGO’s conference in Mumbai on February 1 and 2.

The 36-year-old has been encouraging the people of Naxalite-affected Dharhara to develop their villages through self-help measures and has turned the barren lands into a green zone introducing rainwater harvesting. She would receive the award at the Rotary Internationals District Conference.

Jaya, who left for Mumbai via Patna on Thursday night with mentor Kishore Jaiswal, a water activist, told The Telegraph: “The award would boost my morale to fight against odds.”

“This is a great achievement. We feel proud of her. Despite hailing from a poor backward weavers’ community, she not only fought against the rebels but motivated hundreds to earn through the self-help groups. Her courage and positive attitude, along with eco initiatives are exemplary,” said Mohammad Imtayaz Khan Ashrafi, a social worker in Munger.

The green crusader’s initiatives to develop the villages have been a bone of contention between the villagers and the Maoists in Saradhi hamlet of Bangalwa panchayat under Dharhara block of Munger, Jaya’s native place.