Chipko Movement founder Sundarlal Bahuguna succumbs to COVID-19

© Dehra Talkies Publications

Sunderlal Bahuguna spent his lifetime teaching and persuading the villagers to oppose deforestation and the devastation of the Himalayan ranges. He is known for the motto “ecology is the permanent economy”.

Sunderlal Bahuguna, one of India’s most-renowned eco-activists and the founder of the famous Chipko Movement, succumbed to Covid-19 today. He was admitted to AIIMS Rishikesh on May 8 after testing positive for coronavirus.

After battling COVID-19 for several days, environmentalist Bahuguna breathed his final at 12.05 PM today at AIIMS Rishikesh. He was 94 years old. His condition got critical yesterday night, with the SPO2 level falling drastically, and was on CPAP treatment in the ICU.

Grieving the death of Bahuguna, Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat expressed it as a huge loss, not only for Uttarakhand and India but for the whole world. “It was he who made the Chipko movement a movement of the masses,” Rawat said.

It was his endeavor that saw then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi banning the cutting of trees. Bahuguna i

The Chipko Movement was a non-violent movement in the 1970s that was directed at the protection and preservation of trees. It is best recognized for the joint mobilization of women to preserve and protect forests, which also brought about a revolution in perspective concerning their status in the community. The upheaval against the felling of trees and sustaining the environmental stability started in Uttar Pradesh’s (now Uttarakhand) Chamoli district in 1973. In no time, this movement spread into different states in northern India. The title of the movement ‘Chipko’ originates from the word embrace as the villagers embraced and hugged the trees, encircling them to prevent being chopped.


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