The Assam Kaziranga University

A new dragonfly species discovered in Assam’s Tezpur has been named after two women in recognition of their pioneering work in the northeast.

The new species, Platygomphus benritarum, has been named after Monisha Behal, a founding member of the North East Network (NEN), and Rita Banerji, the founder of Green Hub.

In June 2020, two researchers named Shantanu Joshi and Anuja Mital discovered the species near the banks of the Brahmaputra in Assam’s Tezpur district.

The species was spotted resting on a massive tree 5-6 metres from the Brahmaputra’s banks.

Notably, only one of its kind was discovered, and it was a male with turquoise blue eyes and a dark brown face covered in hair on the sides.

It should be noted that a article regarding its finding was published in the World Dragonfly Association’s International Journal of Odonatology.

According to the article, the species was named after Behal and Banerji for their outstanding work over a two-decade.

Both have worked tirelessly to empower and train the youth of northeast India to become change-makers, as well as to promote environmental security, sustainable livelihoods, and social transformation.

Behal, also known as ‘Ben B,’ works with NEN, a northeast women’s rights organisation that interacts with rural and urban women as well as civil society organisations on problems of development, social, gender, and environmental justice.

Banerji, on the other hand, is a project director at Geen Hub and the organisation’s founder. She is a well-known filmmaker whose primary concentration is on environmental issues.

Through the visual media, the organisation hopes to empower youth in conservation education, activism, climate sustainability, and social change.

The Assam Kaziranga University