Noted environmentalist Sunderlal Bahuguna, who was an intrumental figure behind the Chipko Movement, succumbed to COVID-19 at AIIMS Rishikesh on My 21. He was 94.
Bahuguna had spent his life persuading and educating the villagers to protest against the destruction of the forests and Himalayan mountains.
His constant pressure and eco-activism, saw then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi banning the cutting of trees.
The late activist is best remembered for the slogan “ecology is the permanent economy”.
The Chipko Movement, which gained traction under Bahuguna, was a non-violent agitation in 1973.
The agitation was aimed at the protection and conservation of trees.
It is best remembered for the collective mobilisation of women for the cause of preserving forests.
The uprising against the felling of trees and maintaining the ecological balance originated in Uttar Pradesh’s Chamoli district (now Uttarakhand) in 1973 and in no time spilt onto other states in north India.
The name of the movement ‘chipko’ comes from the word ’embrace’, as the villagers hugged the trees and encircled them to prevent being hacked.