What is CHIPKO Movement? Objective of Chipko Andolan

CHIPKO Movement, Objective of Chipko Andolan
The objective of Chipko Andolan

CHIPKO MOVEMENT – History, Causes, and Objective


The Chipko movement can mainly be called the women’s movement. Women, fully responsible for agriculture, livestock, and children, have moved out due to increasing deforestation in the context of urbanization due to floods and landslides.

The Chipko movement was a nonviolent movement of 1973 aimed at protecting and preserving trees, but perhaps firstly to mobilize women to protect forests, change attitudes, and recall their own positions in society. The movement against deforestation and maintaining ecological balance originated in the Chamoli district of Uttar Pradesh (now Uttarakhand) in 1973 and never spread to other states in northern India. The name ‘Chipko’ is derived from the word ‘hug’ as the villagers hug and surround the trees.



The Chipko movement gained traction under Sundarlal Bahuguna, an environmental activist, who educated his life and protested against the destruction of the forests and the Himalayan Mountains. It was his effort that saw the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi banning the cutting of tensions. Bahuguna is remembered for the slogan “Ecology is the sustainable economy”.

The Chipko movement was the result of hundreds of decentralized and local self-government initiatives. Its leaders and activists are mainly rural women who work for their livelihood and to protect their communities. However, men have also been included, some of whom have provided broad leadership to the movement.

In 2009, Bahuguna received the Padma Vibhushan, India’s second-highest civilian honor.

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The first Chipko protest took place in April 1973 near Mandal village in the upper Alaknanda valley. Villagers were denied access to small trees to make farm implements, and the government allowed a large space for a sporting goods manufacturer.

However, many people are unaware that the original Chipko Andolan dates back to the 18th century and was started by the Bishnoi community in Rajasthan. History records the death of a group of villagers led by a woman named Amrita Devi, at the behest of the then Raja of Jodhpur, who saved trees from being cut down. Following this incident, the king issued a royal decree banning the felling of trees in all Bishnoi villages.

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The Chipko movement started in the village of Reni in Garhwal, Uttarakhand. The main goal was to embrace and protect the trees, not to allow these trees to be cut down. The movement was also known as the Chipko Andolan. The Chipko movement spread rapidly to communities and the media, forcing the forest-based government to reconsider its priorities in the name of forest production. This has resulted in the efficient management of the forests due to the intervention of the locals.



The main influence of the Chipko movement was to persuade the Central Government to amend the Indian Forest Act of 1927 and to introduce the Forest Conservation Act 1980. That same year, in another historic order, commercial green harvesting was banned in forests over 1,000 meters high. “All these laws have not only ensured the protection of the forests but also kept people away from the forests,” said Anil Prakash Joshi of Bachao Andolan, a village in Uttarakhand.



Overall, Chipko Andolan stands as a non-violent protest against deforestation. It emerged as a movement that protected the future not only of Uttarakhand but of many other states in India. Movements like Chipko give us an idea of ​​how important forests are and what they can be. It takes time to protect the environment, and the “chipkos” around the world can answer!



The word Chipko is derived from “cling”. The method of resisting the cutting or grafting of trees is called “Chipko”, which makes this method popular in tree care. Due to its popularity and effectiveness, Chipko took the form of a mass movement, which became known as the “Chipco Movement”. The first case of tree-busting death was reported in September 1730 in the village of Khedali (now Khetri) in the Jodhpur district of Rajasthan.


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With the end of the Sino-Indian border conflict in 1963, the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh saw an increase in development, particularly in the rural Himalayas. Internal roads built for the collision attracted many foreign-based logging companies, seeking access to the region’s vast forest resources. Although rural villagers depended heavily on forests for direct and indirect services such as food and fuel, water purification, and soil stability, government policy prevented villagers from managing the land and denied them access to timber gave. Many commercial efforts led to mismanagement and decreased agricultural yields, erosion and water resources in clear-cut forests, and increased flooding in the surrounding areas.

Environmentalist and Gandhian social activist, Chandi Prasad Bhatt established a cooperative society in 1964 to develop small-scale industries for rural people using local resources. When the region received heavy rains in 1970, heavy rains associated with industrial logging, which killed more than 200 people, became a force for reconsideration with the DGSM. The first Chipko protest took place in April 1973 near Mandal village in the upper Alaknanda valley. Villagers, who were denied access to small-scale trees to make agricultural implements, when the government approved an even larger project, A sports product manufacturer. When his appeal was rejected, Chandi Prasad Bhatt took the villagers into the forest and prevented them from hugging the trees. After several days of protests, the government revoked the company’s logging permits and allowed the original allocation requested by the DGSM.

With the success of the constituency, DGSM activist and local environmental activist Sundarlal Bahuguna began sharing Chipko’s strategies with people in other villages in the area. One of the next major protests was the 1974 decision to cut more than 2,000 trees near Rainy village. After a large student-led demonstration, the government called people from nearby villages to the nearby town for compensation, arguing that the woodcutter should be allowed to move forward without a struggle. However, under the leadership of Gora Devi, they met the women of the village, who refused to leave the forest and eventually forced the woodcutter to withdraw. Gora Devi’s move prompted the state government to form a committee to investigate deforestation in the Alaknanda Valley and eventually imposed a 10-year ban on commercial entry into the region.

Although the various protests were largely decentralized and autonomous, the Chipko movement began to emerge as a movement for peasant and women’s rights. Apart from the “tree-hugging” nature, Chipko protesters used many other techniques based on Mahatma Gandhi’s concept of satyagrahis (non-violent resistance). For example, in 1974, Bahuguna fasted for two weeks in protest against forest policy. In 1978, Chipko activist Dhoom Singh Negi staged a protest against the auction of Advani Forest in the Tehri Garhwal district. Local women tied sacred threads around the trees and recited the Bhagavad Gita. Elsewhere, the resin-tapped chrysanthemum (Pinus Roxburgh) was tied to a turban to protest their exploitation. In 1978, in Pulna village of Bhuntar Valley, woodcutter tools and the remaining receipts were seized, claiming that the women had left the forest. It is estimated that between 1972 and 1979 more than 150 villages were associated with the Chipko movement, resulting in 12 major protests and several minor crashes in Uttarakhand. In 1980, at the request of Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi to Bahuguna, commercial looting in the Uttarakhand Himalayas was banned for 15 years. Similar restrictions were imposed in Himachal Pradesh and East Uttaranchal

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As the movement continued, protests became more organized and the entire atmosphere of the region was incorporated, eventually becoming the “Save the Himalayas” movement. Between 1981 and 1983, the movement covered 5,000 km (3,100 mi) through the polygonal Himalayas. During the 1980s, many protests focused on the Tehri Dam and various mining activities on the Bhagirathi River, resulting in the closure of at least one limestone. Similarly, large-scale deforestation efforts have planted more than a million saplings in the area. Chipko resumed protests in 2004 in response to the removal of the logging ban in Himachal Pradesh but failed to rebuild it.

Takshila learning celebrates the Chipko movement by voicing out for the women in the country who contribute mainly for the rearing of the elements of nature whether human or the flora and the fauna. We at Takshila learning also believe that planting a tree at this very moment goes a long way in contributing for a shade for future generations. So, let’s celebrate life and the forests of our country by celebrating the Chipko movement with Takshila learning.

Takshila learning supports the Chipko movement by all means


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