In an age of massive global extinctions, a remarkable wildlife biologist in India’s Northeast shows the life-saving impact of simple, direct local action. When Dr. Purnima Devi Barman decided to dedicate herself to the survival of the Hargila, Assam’s resident greater adjutant crane, the local population in Guwahati was a mere 20 nests. The scruffy, prehistoric bird was detested and routinely killed in Assam, which is home to most of the world’s endangered Hargila population. Her women’s conversation movement, called the Hargila Army, has grown that population to more than 200 nests. Dr. Barman’s work is beautifully captured by photographer Gerrit Vyn and videographer Andy Johnson of the Cornell University Ornithology Lab. The film reveals the awkward beauty of these birds, which may have evolved as far back as 15 million years ago, as well as their present peril.


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  • Balbero Devi

    Inspiring and throws a light on wonderful work being done and through that communities finding joy, purpose and connection with each other and the Hargila.

  • v patel

    Sad and heart-warming, but mostly uplifting. Dr Purnima is a powerhouse in a small, determined way. Appreciate how Gerrit 'embedded' himself in those environments to capture these magnificent birds

  • Kristin Pedemonti

    Thank you for bringing to us Dr Parnima's important work expanding the conservation,protection and education about the Hargila. Incredibly inspiring.

  • Peg Morgan

    Wonderful sacred work.

  • Cathryn K q

    The amazing efforts of Dr. Barman, and wonderful efforts to start with the women to organize and bring the Hargila into their culture!!

  • Patrick Watters

    Everything belongs.

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  • Learn more about Hargila's Army, the conservation group organized to save the stork.
  • Get involved with bird conservation in your own area with the help of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
  • Believe that one person can make a difference; that person can be you. What conservation need pulls at your heart that you can devote yourself to in your neighborhood or in the world? Begin now!

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