Biography of Sunderlal Bahuguna

 Sunderlal Bahuguna, born on January 9, 1927, was a renowned Indian environmentalist and social activist. He was a prominent leader of the Chipko movement, a non-violent environmental movement aimed at the conservation of forests in India. Sunderlal Bahuguna’s activism and dedication to environmental causes made him a revered figure in India and beyond.

Early Life and Education of Sunderlal Bahuguna:

Sunderlal Bahuguna was born in the Tehri Garhwal region of Uttarakhand, India. He was deeply influenced by Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy of non-violence and social reform from a young age. He pursued his education at Allahabad University.
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The Chipko Movement:

Sunderlal Bahuguna became widely known for his role in the Chipko movement during the 1970s. The movement, which originated in the Himalayan region of Uttarakhand, involved local communities, especially women, hugging trees to prevent them from being felled by loggers. The word “Chipko” means “to hug” in Hindi. This movement was a significant milestone in environmental activism, highlighting the importance of forests and the need for their conservation.
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Sunderlal Bahuguna’s Key Achievements and Contributions:

– Forest Conservation: Sunderlal Bahuguna’s efforts in the Chipko movement contributed significantly to the conservation of forests in the Himalayan region. His activism led to a greater awareness of the ecological significance of forests and the need to protect them.
  
– Anti-Tehri Dam Movement: Bahuguna also played a key role in the anti-Tehri Dam movement, advocating for the rights of the local people and raising concerns about the environmental impact of large dams.
– Recognition: He received numerous awards and honors for his environmental activism, including the Padma Shri, one of India’s highest civilian honors, in 2009.
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Awards to Sunderlal Bahuguna

  • Padma Shri by the Government of India in the year 1981 (refused to accept)
  • Right Livelihood Award for Chipko Movement in the year 1987
  • Jamnalal Bajaj Award for Progressive Work in the year 1986
  • Doctorate in Social Science by IIT Roorkee in 1989
  • Padma Vibhushan for environmental protection work by the Government of India in the year 2009

Later Life and Legacy:

Sunderlal Bahuguna continued his activism and advocacy for environmental causes until his later years. He emphasized the importance of sustainable development and the need to preserve nature for future generations.
Sunderlal Bahuguna passed away on May 21, 2021, due to COVID-19 complications, leaving behind a legacy of environmental conservation and grassroots activism. He is remembered as a dedicated environmentalist who inspired people across the world to protect the natural environment and live in harmony with nature.