Leader of Chipko Movement, Sunderlal Bahuguna, dies of Covid-19; PM says 'monumental loss' for our nation
New Delhi, May 21: Celebrated environmentalist and leader of Chipko Movement, Sunderlal Bahuguna succumbed to Covid-19 at AIIMS Rishikesh on Friday. He was 94.
He was one of the early environmentalists of India, and later he and people associated with the Chipko movement started taking up environmental issues, like against large dams.
For years he has been fighting for the preservation of forests in the Himalayas, first as a member of the Chipko movement in the 1970s, and later spearheaded the Anti-Tehri Dam movement starting 1980s, to early 2004.
Chipko movement was started on 26 March 1974 spontaneously in Uttar Pradesh, in an effort to save areas of trees and forests from cutting by forest contractors.
In Hindi, "Chipko" literally means "hug" and people started hugging and holding onto trees when it was being cut. Chipko movement.
Sunderlal Bahuguna was awarded the Padma Vibhushan in 2009. He had refused to accept Nobel Peace Prize and Padma Shri Award.Expressing grief on the death of noted environmentalist Sunderlal Bahuguna, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday that it is a "monumental loss" for our nation, and he manifested our centuries-old ethos of living in harmony with nature.
He breathed his last at 12.05 pm, AIIMS Director Ravikant said.
Paying tributes, Modi tweeted, "Passing away of Shri Sunderlal Bahuguna Ji is a monumental loss for our nation. He manifested our centuries-old ethos of living in harmony with nature. His simplicity and spirit of compassion will never be forgotten. My thoughts are with his family and many admirers. Om Shanti."