Sunderlal Bahuguna

News: The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has expressed deep grief over the passing away of noted environmentalist, Shri Sunderlal Bahuguna.

About Sunderlal Bahuguna:

  • Sunderlal Bahuguna was an Indian noted Garhwali environmentalist and Chipko movement leader.
  • The idea of Chipko movement was of his wife and the action was taken by him.
  • For years he had been fighting for the preservation of forests in the Himalayas, first as a member of the Chipko movement in the 1970s, and later spearheaded the Anti-Tehri Dam movement starting 1980s, to early 2004.
  • He was one of the early environmentalists of India, and later he and people associated with the Chipko movement started taking up environmental issues, such as being opposed to large dams.

Chipko Movement:

  • Chipko movement was the uprising against the felling of trees and maintaining the ecological balance originated in Uttar Pradesh’s Chamoli district (now Uttarakhand) in 1973.
  • The name of the movement ‘chipko’ comes from the word ’embrace’, as the villagers hugged the trees and encirled them to prevent being hacked.
  • It was a silent, non-violent protest condemning ecological destruction.
  • Sundarlal Bahuguna, a famous Gandhian, is said to have initiated this movement to guard the trees on the Himalayan slopes. Bahuguna is also known for coining the Chipko slogan ‘ecology is permanent economy’
  • The movement’s biggest triumph was making people aware of their rights to forests, and how grassroots activism can influence policy-making regarding ecology and shared natural resources.