Dr. Maya Mahajan, Associate Professor at the Department of Chemical Engineering, Amrita School of Engineering, Coimbatore Campus, received the International Women Achiever Award 2018 for her outstanding contribution and achievements in the field of Environment and Sustainability Sciences at the International Women’s Meet held on March 3, 2018, at Chennai. The event, which was organized and conducted by Venus International Foundation, was attended by two hundred women professionals in various fields from numerous parts of India and other countries, such as Malaysia and Singapore. The award recognizes the brightest, inspirational and talented woman who demonstrates excellence in her discipline.
Dr. Maya Mahajan is an environmental professional and a passionate and committed environmentalist who is currently associated with the Centre for a Sustainable Future, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Coimbatore campus. She has more than 25 years of experience in research, training, advocacy and management in various sectors of Environment and Development – Biodiversity Conservation, Sustainable Development, Participatory Forest Management, Wetland Ecology, Forest Ecology, Environmental Pollution and Environment Education.
Dr. Maya Mahajan’s parents, Uma and Dr. V. S. Mahajan, are social workers and that foundation saw her becoming an activist cum scientist for social and environmental causes. She established a Siruvani Lantana furniture and craft centre where she generated sustainable livelihoods for tribal families by training around 100 tribals in lantana craft and furniture making with the help of funds obtained from DST. This activity also helped in conservation of Siruvani forest by controlling Lantana invasion. She also converted 40 tribal farmers from doing chemical farming to organic farming by providing them training and marketing support. She was instrumental in conducting Environmental Impact studies and forming “Dahanu Taluka Bachao Samiti” by bringing farmers tribals and fishermen under one umbrella to conserve Dahanu Taluka, an ecologically sensitive area in Maharashtra.
Dr. Maya Mahajan was a key resource person for developing and implementing of an education module on Environment and Sustainability, which was implemented for the National Teachers Training Program, organized by IIT, Mumbai, where 170 representatives and 10000 teachers were benefited. She played a key role in the conservation of Mangrove wetlands in Mumbai through research, restoration and education and awareness building, with SP Godrej Marine Ecology Centre (CSR wing of Godrej groups) in Mumbai, and was awarded with Woman of Substance (2007-2008) by the Young Environmentalists Programme trust at the Environmental Arts Awards function for her contribution to environmental protection.She was also invited as a Mangrove expert/ consultant in a planning phase of Maharashtra Gene Bank, a project being proposed by Rajiv Gandhi Science and Technology Commission of Government of Maharashtra.
Dr. Maya Mahajan was responsible for providing scientific and technological support to NGOs working at grass root level in various parts in the country such as Bhopal, Pench, Dehradun, Uttar Kannada, Ellore, Vapi, Unnao, etc., while heading the environmental quality monitoring division in People’s Science Institute at Dehradun.
With an indomitable and determined personality, Dr. Mahajan is a scientist who is able to communicate with the local community with as much élan as she can communicate with the scientific community.
Dr. Maya Mahajan has presented and published several scientific papers in books, national and international journals, as well as being the keynote speaker for numerous international conferences including 6th Griha summit, Earth Science and Engineering, Environmental Governance & Sustainable development and has written books, book chapters and several popular articles on various environmental issues.
After receiving the International Women Achiever Award 2018, Dr. Maya Mahajan shared, “I am feeling extremely happy and energized, as it is International recognition for my 25 years hard work in the field of Environment and Sustainability.”