Written By Sinchana Raj (Grade 11)
We need trees to survive! No trees = no lives. So the Movement which came into existence to conserve forests in India is known as the ‘Chipko Movement’.
This ecological movement which is also known as Chipko Andolan started in the Himalayan region of Uttarakhand in 1973. Its aim is to protect trees and forests slated for government-backed logging. It was started by Gandhian activist ‘Sunderlal Bahuguna’
Chipko means ‘hug’ in Hindi. So, the original meaning of the movement means ‘hugging of trees which were about to be cut down’.
This was named the Chipko movement because the locals used to hug trees in order to protect the trees/forest from being chopped down.
These days we humans barely take up the initiatives to save the forest/trees from being destroyed .i.e, in short, deforestation has been encouraged more than the afforestation. We have to be aware of the consequences that we humans have to face if the land is deserted or deprived of greenery and trees. Firstly, not only our physical health will be affected due to the availability of only less amount of oxygen but along with our physical health, our mental health will also be at higher risk. Secondly, no trees mean no lives, not only humans will be endangered but also other lifeforms present on earth might also get endangered or even might get extinct leading to no life on Earth. Thirdly, the beauty of trees and nature is not only beautiful but also peaceful and impeccable for us. And we can provide countless reasons or disadvantages of deforestation.
However, every successful movement comes with many failures or unsuccess. Chipko movement is also one of those movements. Later, in 1980, the Chipko movement was finally won by Sunderlal Bahuguna, who was awarded the right livelihood award. And this movement ended with the conclusion of generating new ways to protect or save trees and the environment.
So as quoted by Bryce Nelson –“ People who will not sustain trees will soon live in a World that will not sustain people”.
Hence to conclude, it is our responsibility to plant and save more trees and forests from getting destroyed and we need to engage in voluntary ecological activities and other movements like Chipko in order to fully support our environment without misusing or abusing the beauty of nature. Most importantly, we should educate kids of today as they are the future generation, it’s significant for them to know about these livelihood movements and their impacts on humans as well as other lifeforms present on earth.
Featured Image Courtesy – Wikipedia