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Chipko Movement’s 45th anniversary: All you need to know about this peaceful forest conservation initiative

One of Chipko's most salient features was the mass participation of female villagers.


Chipko Movement’s 45th anniversary: All you need to know about this peaceful forest conservation initiative
45th anniversary of Chipko Movement (representative image)

Google Doodle is today commemorating the 45th anniversary of the famous Chipko Movement that started in the late 1973 AD in the Uttarakhand state of India.

Chipko stands for "hugging trees" to prevent them from being cutting down. In protest, all the villagers hugged the trees slated for felling from the contractor's axes and effectively halted the deforestation in that area.

The Chipko Aandolan is a movement that practiced methods of Satyagraha (peaceful methods) to conserve forests and maintain ecological balance, where both male and female activists from Uttarakhand played vital roles, including Gaura Devi, Sudesha Devi, Bachni Devi and Chandi Prasad Bhatt.

The movement created an example for starting of nonviolent protest in India and its success meant that the world immediately took notice of this non violent movement, which was to inspire in time many such eco-groups by helping to slow down the rapid Deforestation, expose vested interests, increase ecological awareness, and demonstrate the viability of people power.

One of Chipko's most salient features was the mass participation of female villagers. As the backbone of Uttarakhand's Agrarian economy, women were most directly affected by environmental degradation and deforestation, and thus related to the issues most easily. How much this participation impacted or derived from the ideology of Chipko has been fiercely debated in academic circles.


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