Remembering Sunderlal Bahuguna, the man who taught India to hug trees
Remembering Sunderlal Bahuguna, the man who taught India to hug trees

Sunderlal Bahuguna was an Indian environmentalist and social activist who dedicated his life to the conservation of forests and the protection of the environment.   He is often referred to as the man who taught India to hug trees due to his influential efforts in the Chipko movement.

He is best known for leading the Chipko movement, a nonviolent campaign in the 1970s that aimed to protect forests from deforestation and promote sustainable development.

Sunderlal Bahuguna was born on January 9, 1927, in Tehri Garhwal, a region in the Indian state of Uttarakhand.  Sunderlal Bahuguna died on May 21, 2021. 

He grew up in a family of farmers and witnessed the impact of deforestation and ecological degradation on the local communities and the Himalayan ecosystem.

In the 1960s, Bahuguna became actively involved in environmental activism and social work. He was deeply concerned about the rapid deforestation in the region due to commercial logging and the construction of large-scale dams. He realized the need to raise awareness among the local communities and initiated the Chipko movement.

The Chipko movement was a grassroots movement in which local villagers, mostly women, hugged trees to prevent them from being cut down. This act of nonviolent resistance gained national and international attention, highlighting the importance of preserving forests and the rights of local communities over natural resources.

Bahuguna's efforts with the Chipko movement led to the introduction of several significant environmental reforms in India. His activism played a crucial role in the government's decision to ban commercial logging in the Himalayan region for 15 years and promote afforestation and sustainable development practices.

Sunderlal Bahuguna continued his environmental activism throughout his life. He emphasized the importance of sustainable living and the protection of biodiversity. He also campaigned against large-scale dam projects that threatened the ecological balance of the Himalayan region.

Sadly, Sunderlal Bahuguna passed away on May 21, 2021, at the age of 94. His death was a significant loss for the environmental movement in India and worldwide. His contributions and dedication to environmental conservation continue to inspire generations of activists and serve as a reminder of the urgent need to protect our planet.

On his death anniversary, people remember and honor Sunderlal Bahuguna for his unwavering commitment to environmental causes. Various events and activities may be organized to pay tribute to his legacy, including seminars, lectures, tree-planting drives, and discussions on environmental issues.

Overall, Sunderlal Bahuguna's life and work serve as a shining example of how individual efforts can create a lasting impact on the environment and society. His legacy continues to motivate people to work towards a sustainable and greener future.

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