Dr. Maya Mahajan, Associate Professor at the Department of Chemical Engineering & Materials Science, School of Engineering, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Coimbatore Campus, received Kovai Wonder Woman Award 2019 from The Indian Express and Kovai Wonder Women groups for her contribution towards society and the environment. She received the award on the occasion of International Women’s day, on March 8, 2019, at Prozone Mall, Coimbatore. Dr. Maya Mahajan bagged this award for conducting Ph. D. research on forested lands of Nilgiris Biosphere Reserve.
Dr. Mahajan said, “ The Indian Express has given this award to self-made women who have done something innovative and achieved success by working very hard in various fields. Not just to famous personalities, but even to women who chose to do something unusual, and not stereotypical work which is generally expected from women.”
She added, “I had not even applied for this award, Indian Express team has noticed that I did my ecological research in remote areas in different types of forests in Silent Valley, Mudumalai, Upper Bhavani and Siruvani in Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve in elephant areas without any fear for more than 10 years. And I continued to work in Siruvani forest for tribal development by empowering them by providing training to 100 tribals in Lantana furniture making and organic farming. They have also recognised my efforts to protect eco fragile Dahanu Taluka, Mangrove conservation, supporting grass root NGOs by providing technical support, participatory forest management in NBR and Environment Education, etc.”
Dr. Mahajan continued, “It’s a commendable job done by Indian Express and team to find out true wonder women from the grass root level to higher professions. I was truly impressed and felt very privileged to receive this award. When I met other awardees who have done something very unusual, I felt this was a more precious award for me than even the International women achiever award which I received last year. I thank my social worker parents who sowed seeds of commitment towards society and environment on my mind at a very young age which I could nurture throughout my life.”
Kovai Wonder Woman 2019 was an event organized in recognition of Women’s Day to celebrate the role of women in our lives. It was the first event which was organized exclusively by women. The main goal of the event was to recognize and honor women with a prestigious award for their work, talent and empowerment spirit across various fields, as well as light up their lives.
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.