Gaura Devi, Who Started the ‘Chipko Movement’

Who was Gaura Devi?

chipko movement - gaura deviGaura Devi was married at the age of 12. She faced hardships when her husband died at the age of 22. The responsibility of the two-and-a-half-year-old son and old parents-in-law fell on Gaura. They had to beg other men to plow their fields but they never gave up. Meanwhile, her parents-in-law also died.

She didn’t attend school but kept complete information about Vedas and Puranas

Even though Gaura Devi could never go to school, she knew very well the importance of trees and environment. She said that the forest is like our home, from where we get fruits, flowers, vegetables etc. If you cut the trees, there will be floods and destruction. Not only this, she was well aware of Vedas-Puranas, Ramayana, Bhagavad Gita, Mahabharata and even ancient sages.

She was the president of the Mahila Mangal Dal

While running the house, Gaur continued to contribute to the village’s work, seeing that the villagers made her the president of Mahila Mangal Dal. Sadly, in the year 1991 at the age of 66, Gaura Devi said goodbye to this world.

On 24 March 1976, Gaura Devi started the Chipko movement. To save the environment, she clung to the tree, seeing many women joined her. A small movement started in Uttarakhand made her a leader but do you know who Gaura Devi was and how struggling her personal life was.

Gaura Devi Started Chipko Movement

Gaura Devi, a resident of Raini village in Uttarakhand, started this movement to save the forests when orders were given to cut down the trees. In the meantime, the government ordered compensation to the ruined fields for the construction of the road. Then many men went to Chamoli to get compensation. Then many laborers moved towards the forests to cut trees.

27 women took initiative to save 2400 trees

Since the men were not present in the village, the women decided to take over. 27 women, including Gaura Devi, clung to trees to stop them from harvesting. They said that before cutting the tree, saws had to be applied on their body. She clung to the trees for several days with hunger and thurst, so that their harvesting could be stopped.

Famous as ‘Chipko Woman’

With this initiative, she is also known as ‘Chipko Woman’ worldwide. What she did to “save trees” can never be forgotten.

 

Delhi Magazine Team

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