Political or social movement, that is for the preservation of the surroundings or the restoration of the situation of the surroundings is known as an environmental movement. The words ‘conservation movement’ and ‘green movement’ are used to imply the same.
The green movements favour the sustainable control of natural reserves. The actions usually focus on the preservation of nature via modifications in government policy. Several Andolans are stressed on human rights, ecology and health. The spatial range of several conservation movements spans from being regional to almost worldwide. Read on to learn more about Chipko and the Appiko Movement.
What is the Chipko and Appiko Movement?
What is Chipko and Appiko Movement? These are the andolans that took place to protect nature. The central objective of the Chipko Movement was to protect the Himalayan range trees from the tomahawks of builders.
On the other hand, Appiko Andolan’s central goal was to preserve forests against the commercialization and falling of genetic wilderness and the demolition of conventional livelihood. So now we will discuss chipko and appiko movement in detail so read on to learn more about it.
The Chipko Andolan (Hug The Tree Movement) can practically be named as a women’s movement. Women were solely in charge of children, cultivation and livestock and due to landslides and floods. They lost everything, the situation was caused because of the rise in cutting down of trees in the name of urbanisation.
The Andolan was a non-violent rage in 1973 that was directed at the preservation and protection of trees. But, possibly, it is adequate to be recalled as the united mobilisation of females for the motive of protecting forests, which also made a difference in behaviour respecting their own importance in the community.
In 1973, the Andolan started, against the cutting of trees and conserving the ecological equilibrium that emerged in the Chamoli district of Uttar Pradesh (now Uttarakhand). The word of the Andolan ‘chipko’ is derived from the term ’embrace’. The villagers hugged the trees and surrounded them to prevent the trees from being cut down.
Chipko Andolan-Hug the Tree Movement
Though, not many people realize that the actual Chipko Andolan was initiated back in the times of the 18th century. It was begun by the Bishnoi community of Rajasthan. The event has been engraved in the books of history for the sacrifice of a villager’s group. It was headed by a lady called Amrita Devi, who gave their lives while safeguarding trees from being cut down due to the orders of the Jodhpur’s King.
Later on, looking at the situation, the king prohibited the cutting of trees in all villages of Bishnoi.
Modern Chipko Movement
The modern Chipko Andolan was triggered due to the development in UP (Uttar Pradesh). It was in the time of the conflict on the China border in 1963. The requirement for infrastructural growth fascinated several foreign logging businesses. They kept their eyes on the huge forest reserves of the state.
But, the jungles were the livelihood of the villagers and they depended on them for both fuel and food. In 1970, huge floods submerged the area. It resulted due to the mismanagement done by the commercial logging.
Government Policy Affecting the Forest
The other reason that outraged the villagers was the public policy that didn’t permit regional herders and agriculturists to cut the trees for feeding animals and fuelwood and other daily use things. But, a sports manufacturing firm was permitted to chop down trees and use them to generate material. It made the people of the area angry and the Andolan came into existence. It was then that Gandhian social activist and environmentalist Chandi Prasad Bhatt. Creator of the communal group Dasholi Gram Swarajya Sangh. He ran the first Chipko Andolan in 1973 near the village of Mandal.
When their pleas were rejected, Chandi Prasad Bhatt directed a group of villagers into the jungle and surrounded the trees to curb logging. After several days of rage, the administration discontinued the firm’s logging license. As the Chipko workers made a straightforward request to them.
The Chipko Andolan also stood out as an eco-feminist movement. Females created the origin of the Andolan. As the group was most quickly affected by the absence of drinking water and firewood caused by the cutting down of trees. The strength of revolt is a worthwhile and strong reason for social change.
Sunderlal Bahuguna Eco-Activist
The Chipko Andolan progressed under an eco-activist. His name was Sunderlal Bahuguna. He devoted his life convincing and teaching the villagers to fight against the demolition of the Himalayan mountains and jungles. Because of his actions, Indira Gandhi who was Prime Minister at that time banned deforestation. Sunderlal Bahuguna’s words were loud and reached many people. Now he is widely remembered for his initiation and slogan
“ecology is the permanent economy”.
Children, men and women of Salkani “hugged the trees” in Kalase forest, in September 1983. (The regional word for “hugging” in Kannada is appiko.) The Appiko Andolan brought new awareness all over the parts of southern India.
District Uttara Kannada’s forest covered more than 81% of its geographical region in 1950. The administration, proclaiming this jungle district a “backward” region, then launched the procedure of “development”. Their main businesses – paper and pulp mill, a chain of hydroelectric dams and plywood factories built to restrict the rivers – flow in the region. These enterprises have overexploited the jungle reserve.
The dams have capsized vast forest and farming regions. The jungle had decreased to nearly 25% of the district’s region by 1980. The regional population, particularly the poorest groups, were forced to leave their houses as the dam was being constructed. The transformation of the biological mixed forests into eucalyptus and teak plantations dried up the water streams. It was directly affecting forest inhabitants.
Deforestation in the Sahyadri Range
The Western Ghats, or the Sahyadri Range, in southern India. It is the tropical forest ecosystem’s home. Although this tropical forest comprises a potentially renewable reserve, it is also an extremely delicate ecosystem. The past 30 years have seen the invasion of “development” actions and a rise in population. Both of which have depleted this delicate reserve system. In Kerala’s case, which includes 42% of the whole Western Ghat region.
The forest cover chopped down from 44% in 1905 to a meagre 9% in 1984. Cutting down trees in the Western Ghats has resulted in serious issues for all southern India. The frequent drought in the regions of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Maharashtra clearly imply watersheds exploitation.
The water supply, power generation and ultimately the entire economy of southern India is severely affected. The drought in the Karnataka region reflects the degree of harm affected by the change in the fragile ecosystem of Sahyadri.
The constant “development” system of taking advantage of the “resources”- particularly mineral resources and forest – in the Western Ghats for the advantage of the elite has restrained the poor from their self-supporting systems.
The Appiko Andolan, the environmental movement. It was attempting to protect the Western Ghats by spreading awareness all over southern India. Andolan’s goals can be categorized into 3 crucial areas.
First, the Appiko Andolan is attempting to save the remaining tropical jungles in the Western Ghats. Second, it is undertaking a subtle attempt to rebuild the greenery to denuded regions. Third, it is attempting to reproduce the idea of reasonable utilization to lessen the stress on forest reserves. ‘To save, to grow and to use rationally’ – widely known in Kannada as Ubsu (“save”), Belesu (“grow”) and Balasu (“rational use”) – is the famous slogan of the Andolan.
Urbanization Affecting the Forest
As said before, the cutting down of trees in the Western Ghats has already affected agriculture, hydroelectric dams and reservoirs. The central administration’s Planning Commission has understood the “high depletion” of biological reserves in the Western Ghats in its 7th Plan document.
The first region of priority for the Appiko Andolan is the remaining tropic jungles of Western Ghats. The region is so fragile that if there is any interference that results in fluctuation in the ecosystem of the forest. It will convert the forest area into rocky mountains. Therefore a renewable resource turns into a non-renewable one.
Once it takes place, it will take decades for trees to grow on that soil. Before we enter such a severe point, the Appiko Andolan tries to protect the remaining jungles in the Western Ghats with the help of groups to take action at the grassroots level.
Methods of The Andolan
The Appiko Andolan uses several methods to create awareness: foot rallies in the slide shows, folk dances, interior forests, street plays and so on. The Andolan has attained a reasonable amount of success. The state administration has prohibited chopping down green trees in some forest regions.
Only dry, dead and dying trees are chopped down to fulfil local needs. The Andolan has spread to the 4 hill districts of the Karnataka region. Can also spread to the Eastern Ghats in the Tamil Nadu region and Goa region.
Appiko Andolan’s Area of Work
The 2nd area of the Appiko Andolan work is to promote the planting of trees in barren areas. The villagers grow saplings. In 1984-1985 a record of 1.2 million seedlings was grown by the community in the Sirsi region. No question, this was possible because of the teamwork of the forest department.
They provided plastic bags for growing seedlings. In the cycle of expanding the decentralized nursery, the activists discovered that the forest department earns additional money in raising a nursery. The expense paid for 1 sapling raised by a villager was 20 paise (US 2c). On the other hand, the price of a 1 sapling grown by the forest department amounted to Rs 2 (US 15c).
Also, the forest department gave tablets and fertilizers to saplings. Appiko Andolan’s occasion has attracted an excess use of fertilizers into the forest conservatory. Creating it as a money-making, capital-intensive strategy. The nursery scheme produced by the forest department is certainly a way for using village workers at cheap prices.
The villagers have commenced a procedure of rejuvenation in a barren common area. The Youth Club has accepted the responsibility for the program. The entire village has joined to conserve this area from fire, grazing and lopping.
The experience shows that in those regions where the soil is there, biological rejuvenation. It is the extremely efficient and least costly technique to turn the barren land into a healthy forest area. In the regions in which flood occurs frequently, they were planting trees in that area to hold the soil during the flood.
The 3rd main area of activity in the Appiko Andolan is associated with the rational usage of the ecosphere. By introducing substitute energy resources to lessen the burden on the forest. The activists have built 2,000 fuel-efficient chulhas (“hearths”) in the region. It saves fuelwood intake by almost 40%. The activists didn’t wait for administration assistance or subsidies.
The different way to lessen the burden on the forest is through constructing gobar (gas plants). A huge number of people are constructing biogas plants. Appiko Andolan, also focuses on the poor section- who don’t have the cash for Gobar plants, the activists help them build one.
Few people try to rejuvenate the forest region through inaccurate lopping methods. Appiko Andolan is attempting to rectify people’s inaccurate practices.
The Andolan’s objective is to establish a balanced relationship between nature and people. To take a step towards sustainability, conserve and preserve the resource for future generations.
Nature provides us with everything. But it is still not enough for human greed, nature is suffering because of that. So it’s our turn to give back. It’s still not too late to learn from our mistakes, we can fix them. Climate change is real.
We cannot ignore the fact. It’s high time to practise sustainable methods, to conserve and preserve nature for our future. There are enough resources for everyone on earth but not enough for greed.
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