Panchami Manoo Ukil
Panchami Manoo Ukil is a Bhubaneswar-based birdwatcher and bird-photographer who pioneered community birdwatching in Odisha in 2012 with her group The Bhubaneswar Bird Walks (TBBW). She writes regularly for several magazines and journals including Sanctuary Asia and Indian Birds. She was featured in Discovery Channels’s programme on Odisha. She was the only woman from Odisha to be featured in Sanctuary Asia’s special edition on “Women in our Wilds”.
She works with school children through awareness camps and bird walks in order to foster love for outdoors in young minds so that they move away from cooped-up lifestyles dictated by hypnosis of gadgetry. She feels that mothers are best placed to create a new generation of “earth warriors” by gently inculcating environment-friendly practices as a way of life. She believes that it is necessary to familiarize citizens with the natural world in order to create awareness of constantly depleting natural resources, and the importance of adopting “green practices” to aid in conservation of what remains with us today.
Panchami is the granddaughter of eminent odia poetess Nirmala Devi. She recently published all the works of Nirmala Devi under the title “Nirmala Devi Kabita Samagra” which is edited by writer and poet Ratnamala Swain. She is now translating Nirmala Devi’s poems into English.
Panchami is Executive Trustee of The Wisdom Tree Global School, Bhubaneswar and Chairperson of Ila Panda Centre for Arts.