Hirbai Ibrahim Lobi, a resident of Jambur village and an activist who works for the upliftment of the Siddi tribe has been conferred with the Padma Shri award. She has been awarded for her work in uplifting the women’s community in the Siddi tribe and for educating the children.
The ceremony was held on March 22, 2023, at Rashtrapati Bhavan. Prime Minister Narendra Modi bowed down to Lobi as she approached to receive the award from the President of the country.
#WATCH | Hailing from the Siddi tribe, Hirbai Ibrahim Lobi receives the Padma Shri award from President Droupadi Murmu. She works for the upliftment and development of the Siddi tribal community. pic.twitter.com/OBQy4Yh4ON
— ANI (@ANI) March 22, 2023
Who is Hirbai Ibrahim Lodi?
A Part of the African-origin Siddi tribe, Hirabaiben Ibrahimbhai Lobi belongs to the Jambur village of Junagadh district in Gujarat. Her village is located close to the famous Gir forests which serve as a habitat for the Asiatic lions.
Lobi has worked for the women in the Siddi community who have led socially and economically marginalised lives for decades. She has contributed to changing the lives of more than 700 women from the community and several thousand children in the region.
Hirabai provided employment opportunities to the women using the medium of radio, along with social organisations. Besides, she also helped them understand the importance of banking services, which made them open bank accounts to save money. The women in the Siddi community are usually involved in wood-cutting activities, which is dangerous work in itself, as they have to pass through the Gir forests for the same.
One of Hirabai Lobi’s first activities was to launch a campaign aimed at helping women be more self-reliant. She launched this campaign with the Agakhan Foundation in association with the BAIF, a farmer’s organisation.
Besides creating more opportunities, Lobi also helped the women by educating them about the modern techniques of farming and also got them involved in social programs and advertisements on the radio.
Lobi launched the Mahila Vikas Foundation for the welfare of the Siddi community. Several women have taken up the jobs of running grocery shops and tailoring under her guidance.
Besides the fourth-highest civilian award, she has been awarded other national and international awards as well. One of the first prizes she received was $500. The entire amount was donated to the development of the village. She has also been conferred with the Janaki Devi Prasad Bajaj Award, the Green Award, and the Real Award from Reliance.