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Padma for first female elephant mahout

Assam : Parbati Barua, the first female elephant mahout in India and a Padma Shri awardee, is recognized for her efforts in wildlife conservation and establishing her own place in a male-dominated field.

Born into a prominent Assamese family, she began her journey with elephants at a young age, playing and working with them. Barua gained fame for her skillful handling of elephants and was honored with the Padma Shri award for her contributions to the field.


In her early teens, she captured her first elephant in the forests of Kokrajhar district. Her family, known for expertise in elephants, faced financial difficulties due to a government ban on elephant trading. Despite this, Barua continued her efforts and even sold elephants to families in Bhutan, Kuchbihar, and Jaipur.


Parbati Barua’s life exemplifies resilience and dedication to wildlife conservation, making her a symbol of empowerment in the realm of elephant training.



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