Google on Monday, March 26, commemorated the 45th anniversary of the Chipko Movement, the non-violent resistance movement against deforestation mainly led by local women. A doodle by Google depicts women protecting trees by sticking around them. In Hindi, Chipko means to stick or to hug. This movement followed Mahatma Gandhi’s ideas of non-violence. The sections of forests where the movement began are now in Uttarakhand.

Google’s doodle by artists Svabhu Kohli and Viplov Singh, displays a vibrant design of women villagers hugging the trees and forming circles around themselves to save the trees from being cut. In modern India, the movement started in 1973 in Uttar Pradesh’s Mandal village by the environmentalist and Gandhian activist Chandi Prasad Bhatt. Another activist, Sunderlal Bahuguna also played a significant role in bolstering the movement. His efforts resulted in the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi banning deforestation.

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Understanding the backdrop of the original Chipko movement, it occurred in the 18th century Rajasthan, when a group of 363 people from 84 villagers, led by Amrita Devi, died to protect the Khejri trees in Jodhpur. The king of the region had ordered to cut the trees, he later repented his decision and canceled his order. Deforestation is the widespread destruction of forests, which causes environmental damage. As a prototype, according to a report published by scroll.in, in 30 years, India has lost large forests to 23,716 industrial projects. 

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