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Environmental Movements in India, Complete Information

Environmental Movements in India

An environmental or ecological movement is a kind of social movement that includes an array of individuals, groups and coalitions coming together to raise their voices against a common issue related to environmental protection and demand some action to bring about changes in environmental policies and practices. A successful environmental movement leads to improved state policies and laws related to the environment in the country.

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List of Environmental Movements in India

In this article, we are going to discuss some important Environmental Movements in India that led to some major changes and made history –

1. Silent Valley Movement

  • The Silent Valley Movement was started in the 1970s was a very famous environmental struggle by the masses of Kerala.
  • The aim was to save the Silent Valley Tropical Rainforests.
  • Movement was led by Kerala Sastra Sahitya Parishad (KSSP) and local people.
  • It was started against the construction of a dam, for a hydroelectric project.
  • That project put the entire forest and its wildlife habitat under immense danger. This struggle was also to save the wildlife of the forest from getting endangered due to the project. Other than the wildlife of the forest, the trees and shelter and resources provided by the forest would also get endangered by the cutting down of trees. This made the people even more agitated and led them to protest and start a movement against the government.
  • The Silent Valley Tropical Forest was, later on, turned into a National Park and a wildlife sanctuary for the state of Kerala which is now managed by the Kerala Government.

2. Chipko Movement

  • The Chipko Movement was started on April 24, 1973, at Mandal of Chamoli district of Gharwal division of Uttarakhand, as a nonviolent movement aimed to fight against the destruction of trees and forests.
  • The locals used to hug the trees and safeguard them from wood cutters and from there it got its name, “Chipko” which means ’embrace’.
  • Once, The Maharaja of Jodhpur, Rajasthan, ordered to procure wood for the construction of a new palace in 1731.  and for that, his staff went to a forest near a Bishnoi community to collect wood.  Amrita Devi, a Bishnoi woman, exemplified astonishing bravery by embracing a tree and challenging the king’s warriors to cut her first before chopping the tree. She put her own life at stake to save trees.
  • Unfortunately, the king’s warriors ignored her pleadings and cut down the tree, as well as Amrita Devi.
  • Her three daughters, as well as hundreds of other Bishnois, followed her and died as a result of their efforts to save trees and it was known as Bishnoi Movement. 
  • This episode inspired many other people, especially women which led to various similar movements in other parts of India.
  • The Chipko Movement gained traction under the leadership of Sunderlal Bahuguna, an activist who dedicated his life to encouraging and educating peasants to fight the government’s destruction of forests and Himalayan mountains.
  • In 1980, the chipko protests proved to be a successful movement as later on, Mrs. Indira Gandhi prohibited tree chopping in the state’s Himalayan forests for 15 years.

3. Appiko Movement

  • The Appiko movement was one of the most effective environmental conservation movements of India.
  • It was started in rural area of the district of Karnataka province in southern India switch the aim of safeguarding the forests.
  • the destruction of forests was caused due to commercial felling of trees for timber extraction.
  • Pandurang Hegde was the leader of the movement.
  • It was inspired by the Chipko movement in Himalayan Uttarakhand and in a similar way people used to hug trees to protect them from cutting down.
  • Salkani men, women, and kids “hugged the trees” in Kalase forest in September 1983.
  • As a result of this movement, southern India saw a new consciousness as a result of the Appiko movement.
  • The movement’s popular slogan is “save, grow, and use rationally,” which is known in Kannada as Ubsu (“save”), Belesu (“grow”), and Balasu (“rational use”).
  • After agitating continuously for 38 days, the Villagers of Salkani forced the state government to finally concede to their demands and withdraw the order for the felling of trees.

4. Jungle Bachao Andolan

  • Jungle Bachao Andolan began in the 1980s in the Singhbhum district of Bihar (presently in Jharkhand).
  • The Jungle Andolan of Singhbum district for land, forest and water was the struggle for right over and part of the socio-economic aspects of the Jharkhand Movement but mainly it was against the government’s decision to replace natural Sal forest with commercial teak plantations.
  • This movement survived till 1983 and 18 people were killed. Government of Bihar tried to crush the movement, thousands of adivasis were beaten and cases registered in police stations against thousands of people and incarcerated them.
  • After 27 years Forest Rights Bill passed in December 15, 2006 in Lok Sabha during the office of UPA, headed by Dr. Manmohan Singh. It was the result of Jungle Andolan in Singhbhum and other tribal movements across the tribal belts in India.

5. Naramada Bachao Andolan

  • Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) is a social movement led by extremist Medha Patkar. NBA comprises human lobbyists, ranchers, Adivasis, and individuals laid out on the bank of the Narmada waterway.
  • The primary point of the development is against the huge dams constructed or in process across the Narmada river.
  •  Protestors used various sources to protest such as the mass media, hunger strikes, massive marches, rallies and the through the on-screen of several documentary films.
  • It was started against the development of various enormous dams under the Narmada Dam Project across the waterway Narmada. The stream Narmada moves through the territories of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, and Maharashtra.

FAQs related to Environmental Movements in India

Q1. Who was the leader of the Appiko Movement?
Ans. The movement was founded and led by environmental activist Panduranga Hegde.

Q2. Who was the leader of the Narmada Bachao Andolan?
Ans. The leading spokesperson of Narmada Bachao Andolan was Medha Patkar and Baba Amte who received the Right Livelihood Award in 1991.

Q3. When was the Chipko Movement started?
Ans. The movement originated in the Himalayan region of Uttarakhand (then part of Uttar Pradesh) in 1973

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FAQs

Q1. Who was the leader of the Appiko Movement?

Ans. The movement was founded and led by environmental activist Panduranga Hegde.

Q2. Who was the leader of the Narmada Bachao Andolan?

Ans. The leading spokesperson of Narmada Bachao Andolan was Medha Patkar and Baba Amte who received the Right Livelihood Award in 1991.

Q3. When was the Chipko Movement started?

Ans. The movement originated in the Himalayan region of Uttarakhand (then part of Uttar Pradesh) in 1973

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