On the 45th anniversary of the historic Chipko movement, where people protested the felling of trees by hugging them, Google Doodle honoured the women who participated in the movement.
The movement began in 1973, in Chamoli, Uttar Pradesh (now in Uttarakhand). Led by environmentalist and Gandhian activist Chandi Prasad Bhatt, a group of people near Mandal village protested the clearing of a patch of land, which was given to a sports goods manufacturer by the government. Following the protest, the government put a stop to the felling of trees and cancelled the logging permit of the company.
Another environmentalist Bahuguna carried forth the work of the Chipko movement. While it was Sundarlal Bahuguna’s efforts that got deforestation banned by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, our books never gave much relevance to the local women who started this “eco-feminist movement.”
Did you know the very first Chipko movement dates back to the 18th century in Rajasthan when a woman named Amrita Devi led a group 363 people, which sacrificed their lives protecting the khejri trees?