Ms. Jyotsna Sitling


Nanda Devi Biosphere, Uttarakhand


Delhi, India


In the Valley Flowers, there is a 19km trail which leads to Hemkund Sahib. The trail was breath-taking but loaded with plastic and other dumps since decades.


She is the first female tribal IFS officer, passionate about the environment. Due to her passion and spirit for the work in Environment, she was honoured for environment conservation in India. She joined Nanda Devi Biosphere in 2002. She started a vigorous campaign that involved local community as well. They all collected 15 truckloads of garbage weighing up to 50 tonnes. The mass was sent for recycling and the valley started getting clear. There were 400 unorganised shops on the trek trail to Gurudwara which contributed to polluting the trek trail. She studied the issue and explained the families that there can be only one shop per family so that their income won’t be divided and environment can also be saved. After a week’s efforts she could reduce the number of shops from 400 to 76. After that she put into systems for responsible tourism, introduced eco-fee for the cleaning processes. She worked out insurance policies for pilgrims. This all could help in sustenance and development of the region. With her experience she put together an entire guideline for Mountaineering in Uttarakhand which was first of its kind. All these efforts led to the declaration of the Park as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2005. She has also worked in the erosion-prone zone of the Shivalik range near the Doon Valley. Eleven thousand people from 82 villages planted 3,82,000 plants and sowed over 70 kgs of seeds of various plant species, saving the fate of the villages that lay close to 358 strategic erosion-prone locations. She is the Project Director of Livelihood Improvement projects for Himalayas.

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Awards and Recognition:

Indira Gandhi Paryavaran Puraskar
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