Conservation of Forest is an implementation of planning and protecting forest areas by various methods. Forest Conservation involves the sustention of natural resources especially protection from deforestation within a particular forest area which is useful for both humans and the environment.
We all are aware of this certitude that how Conservation of Forest is important for all of us as well as for the environment. But despite being aware of this fact some of us are ready to shatter this concept. Chipko Movement is a well – known ecological movement supported by rural villagers especially women marked 45th anniversary this year. The movement gained momentum in 1970’s under the leadership of Sunderlal Bahuguna, an eco-activist, who spent his entire life convincing and educating the villagers, to come out and protest against the destruction of the forests and the Himalayan Mountains by the government. In modern India, this Andolan began in 1973 in Uttarakhand where people grasp onto trees to avert them from being cut, a non-violent movement which later outspread all over the world.
Inception and Organization:
Women and other villagers started forming their own groups, taking up local causes with the authority and standing up against mercantile logging undertaking which may hamper their livelihoods. In October 1971 Sangha workers organized a demonstration at Gopeshwar to fuss against the policies of Forest Department and later in 1972, several other musters were held. A large group was spearheaded by Amrita Devi. After 1973 it started spreading to many other districts of the Himalayas in Uttar Pradesh. This movement was not that much easy and it took a lot of time to emerge. With the fortification from a local NGO – DGSS (Dasoli Gram Swarajya Sangh), Chandra Prasad Bhatt (Gandhian environmentalist and social activist) went to the forest with rest of the women in the village and formed a circle around the trees to halt the men from cutting them down. Finally, with the support from courageous women like Gaura Devi and Bachni Devi, their hard-work paid off.
The victory of Chipko Movement in the hills saved thousands of trees from being razed. Mr. Ghanshyam Raturi (Chipko Poet) through his words wrote a poem describing the method of clasping trees from being cut.
“Embrace the trees and save them
From being felled;
The property of our hills,
Save them from being looted.”
One of the vital achievements of the Chipko movement was the veto on cutting the trees for the 15 years in the forest areas of Uttar Pradesh in 1980. Later on, the veto was imposed in Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Bihar, Western Ghats and Vindhayas. All this was created on the order of the Indian Prime Minister after the strong protests by the reformer throughout the country.
Written by: Akankhita Roy