Google doodle celebrates 45th anniversary of Chipko movement

Google doodle celebrates 45th anniversary of Chipko movement

It was then that environmentalist and Gandhian social activist Chandi Prasad Bhatt, founder of the cooperative organisation Dasholi Gram Swarajya Sangh, led the first Chipko movement near the village of Mandal in 1973. Taking a leaf out of history, the illustration depicts four women dressed in traditional attire, holding hands and forming a chain around a tree.

The Chipko movement was a non-violent agitation in 1973 that was aimed at protection and conservation of trees, but, perhaps, it is best remembered for the collective mobilisation of women for the cause of preserving forests, which also brought about a change in attitude regarding their own status in society.

What does Google say about the movement?

The Chipko Movement was a result of people's collective initiative to protect the regional forests in Uttarakhand (then Uttar Pradesh).

Interestingly, long before Bahuguna's epochal movement, there was a small eco-friendly initiative in September 1731, when some 363 members of the Bishnoi community of Khejarli, Jodhpur region, voluntarily sacrificed their lives to protect the Khejri trees, worshipped on the last day of Dussehra festival.

The efforts of these women inspired several environmental protests since generations. Ultimately, a ban was imposed on cutting the trees by the government.

The intellectual objective of the Chipko Movement was to draw attention to prevent deforestation, which had commenced to occur on a mass scale to make way for dams or industry or roads. After this incident, the king, in a royal decree, banned cutting of trees in all Bishnoi villages.

The original Chipko Movement took place in the 18th century in Rajasthan.

Google celebrated this anniversary with a doodle, illustrated by Svabhu Kohli and Viplov Singh. "Take some time to hug your favourite tree-hugger in celebration of the "Chipko Movement"!" said Google in its tribute.

In 1987, the Chipko Movement was awarded the Right Livelihood Award. Initially, this movement was known as "angalwaltha", a Garhwali word which means "embrace". Today on the 45th anniversary, the Google doodle pays honour to the group of women protesting against the deforestation.

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