Today’s Google Doodle : 45 years to Chipko movement, forest conservation movement
45th Anniversary of the Chipko Movement, Google Doodle marks forest conservative event.
The aim of the Chipko Movement was to get attention to and stop deforestation, which had began on a huge scale to build dams or industry or roads. The initiative began in 1973 in Uttar Pradesh and was an movement of Sunderlal Bahuguna, a renowned environmentalist.
The word ‘Chipko’ in Hindi means ‘to stick to’ and the way people expressed support with the initiative was by surrounding trees and joining their hands together around it, to physically prevent trees being cut down.
Today’s ‘Google Doodle’ shows a bunch of women standing around a tree in a forest, their hands joined together, under the light of the moon. In fact, the whole initiative was taken ahead by women and they went a long way educating people on the effects of deforestation.
The original Chipko Movement goes back to the 18th century Rajasthan. A huge group of people from the Bishnoi community went against the felling of trees by hugging them. The trees were to be fell down on the order of Jodhpur’s Maharaja. But soon after the movement The Maharaja gave a royal order stopping felling down of trees in all Bishnoi villages. During the 18th century movement, as many as 363 people are said to have sacrificed their lives to save ‘khejri’ trees.
The modern Chipko movement was a better version and had a bigger effect as it soon spread to other Himalayan districts of the state. The Chipko Movement was ignited by a decision by the government to allot forest land to a sports goods manufacturing company. Angered by the order, villagers formed circles around the trees to prevent them from being cut. The Chipko Movement, lead by local women, was spearheaded by Chand Chandi Prasad Bhatt and his NGO Dasholi Gram Swarajya Sangh.
Inspired by the success in Uttar Pradesh, the Chipko Movement spread to other parts of the country. Some of the key figures that were part of the Chipko Movement were Dhoom Singh Negi, Bachni Devi, Gaura Devi and Sudesha Devi.