CHIPKO ANDOLAN (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Env & Eco)

News-CRUX-10     27th March 2024        
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Context: The Chipko Andolan lost its ground at home, but its legacy lies in people’s ecological movements that emerged elsewhere in the country.

Chipko Andolan

  • About: It is also known as the Chipko Andolan, emerged as a protest against logging in the Himalayan region of Uttarakhand, India, gaining momentum in the early 1970s.
  • Origin: The term "Chipko" derives from the act of hugging trees, as locals, particularly women, embraced trees to deter loggers, symbolizing the unity of humanity and nature.
  • Inspired by: Bishnoi community in Rajasthan
  • Causes of the Movement:, The Chipko Movement arose amid rampant deforestation in the 1970s, which was identified as a leading cause of devastating floods that claimed over 200 lives in the region.
  • Scope of the Movement: The non-violent agitation began in Uttar Pradesh's Chamoli district (now Uttarakhand) in 1973, with villagers encircling and hugging trees to prevent their destruction, leading to a change in societal attitudes, particularly regarding women's roles.
  • Achievements of the Movement: The Chipko Movement's notable achievements include raising awareness of forest rights, influencing policy-making on ecological matters, and securing a ban on commercial tree felling above certain altitudes and slopes in 1981.
  • Leadership: Chandi Prasad Bhatt, Sundarlal Bahuguna, and Gaura Devi, whose leadership and advocacy played pivotal roles in organizing communities and spearheading resistance efforts.
  • Impact and Legacy: The Chipko Movement's impact transcended regional boundaries, inspiring similar movements across India and globally, shaping environmental policy, and empowering indigenous communities in their fight against deforestation and environmental degradation.
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