In today’s world, there are very few people, who come forward and take necessary steps to save the environment. Sunderlal Bahuguna was one of the rare gems!
Sunderlal Bahuguna is an Indian environ- mentalist and Chipko movement leader. Sunderlal Bahuguna was born in Maroda near Tehri, Uttarakhand on 9 January 1927.
In his early life, he fought against untouchability and later started organising anti-liquor drive from 1965 to 1970. Bahuguna was just 13 years old when he started to participate in social activities. Shri Dev Suman was his guide, who was also a follower of Mahatma Gandhi’s non violence principle.
He was with the congress party of Uttar Pradesh at the time of independence. He married Vimla. After marriage couple went to rural setting and start an ashram there.
Movements leads by Sunderlal Bahuguna
Chipko movement :-
Chipko Movement started on 26 march 1974 and the cause was to save the forests and trees. In Hindi, word ‘Chipko’ means ‘Hug’. In this movement, people started to stick to trees and hugged them when officials came to cut the trees in the forest so that nobody could destroy the forests.
Sunderlal Bahuguna helped bring the movement to prominence through about 5,000 kilometer trans-Himalaya march undertaken from 1981 to 1983,travelling from village to village, gathering support for the movement. One of his notable contribution to that cause, was his creation of the Chipko’s slogan “Ecology is permanent economy”.
Anti Tehri Dam Protests :-
Bahuguna was also against the Tehri Dam project. He was a follower of Gandhi’s principles therefore he did not use any violence to save the environment. He used Satyagraha tactics. He went on a hunger strikeat Bhagirathi. He has been against it for many years.
In picture, a protest message against Tehri Dam, which was steered by Sundarlal Bahuguna for years. It says “We don’t want the dam. The dam is the mountain’s destruction.”
He has always thought about the hill people and their welfare. By building projects in rivers, it would take away the livelihood of people.
Awards and Literary works
Books written by Bahuguna :-
- Ecology Is Permanent Economy
- Dharti Ki Pukar
- India’s Environment – Myth and Reality
- Bhoo Prayog Mei Buniyadi Parivartan Ki Or
Awards received by Bahuguna :-
- Jamnalal Bajaj Award (1986)
- Right Livelihood Award (1987)
- Padma Vibhushan (2009)
- He refused to take the Nobel Peace Prize and Padma Shri award.