The Chipko movement is actually a non-violent movement which happened in 1973 and the movement was set a goal to look after the protection and conservation of trees, but, probably, it is best remembered for the communal mobilization of women in the group for the sake of the protection of plant.
This is also touted as massive socio-political changes for the society and the Chipko movement was actually originated in Uttar Pradesh’s Chamoli district (now Uttarakhand) in 1973 and then the movement was spread in the whole country.
The name this national movement Chipko movement received from the word ‘chipko’, a Hindi word, which means, ’embrace’, at that period when the all villagers embraced the trees and encircled them in order to stop and protect the trees being but.
Though, not many people aware of the original Chipko Andolan which actually happened in the 18th century and was started by Rajasthan’s Bishnoi community.
This Chipko Andolan is known for the sacrifice of a group of villagers, who led by a lady named Amrita Devi, laid down their lives in order to protect the trees from being cut and this order was announced by the King of Jodhpur.
Post this incident, the king, in a royal decree, declared banned cutting of trees in the entire Bishnoi villages.
The trigger for the modern Chipko movement saw the growth of development in the Uttar Pradesh at the 1970s period.
The required for the infrastructural development actually caught a plenty of eyeballs from the foreign logging companies, who actually set their eyes on the state’s vast forest resources.
Though the jungles were the lifeblood of the villagers and they were solely depending on their both food and fuel on these plantations.
In 1970, extensive floods covered the area and were massive mismanagement happened because of the commercial logging and the villagers were against of these.
The other reason which angered the villagers was the government’s policy which permitted the local agriculturists and herders to cut the trees for fuel wood or for fodder and for other reasons.
Though a sports manufacturing company was already allowed to use tress to make other equipment, which proved to be the final provocation and a people’s movement was born obviously.
It was then that environmentalist and Gandhian social activist Chandi Prasad Bhatt, father of the cooperative organization Dasholi Gram Swarajya Sangh, started the first Chipko movement in the remote village of Mandal in 1973.
At the time his appeals were denied, Bhatt arrived with a group of villagers into the forest and embraced the trees in order to prevent the tress from being cut.
Post several days of agitation, the government canceled the company’s logging permit. The Chipko movement can be also regarded as the women’s movement.
Women, being exclusively in charge of cultivation, livestock, and children, suffered the most because of the landslides and floods, which happened due to rise in deforestation in the name of development and urbanization.
The message of the Chipko workers left a direct appeal to the mass which was against the deforestation.
Chipko movement received an immense support from the women so this one is considered as a development and achievement for all women.
On its doodle blog in commemorating the 45th anniversary of the movement, Google write, “The Chipko Andolan also stands out as an eco-feminist movement. Women formed the nucleus of the movement, as the group most directly affected by the lack of firewood and drinking water caused by deforestation. The power of protest is an invaluable and powerful agent of social change.”
The Chipko Movement was started under the guidance of the social activist Sunderlal Bahuguna, an eco activist, who spent his life persuading and educating the villagers to protest against the destruction of the forests and Himalayan Mountains.
This was his endeavor and effort which being witnessed that honorable Prime Minister Indira Gandhi of that era banning the cutting of trees.
Bahuguna is also best remembered for the slogan “ecology is the permanent economy”.
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