Chipko Movement – Women Embracing Trees, an Art of Protesting


There is no doubt that society was never supposed to be equal. It never was and no matter how much evolvement it shows, it never will be. The conflict is something that lives constantly in this society. It is considered as collective mobilization in terms of the transformation and altering. However, a social movement is something that they all have aimed for a long period of time. This was clearly depicted in the Chipko movement.

Chipko movement is one of the most inspiring events that is known in history. This whole pioneering movement is a motivating phase for generations to come. The main motive behind this movement was saving trees even if means sacrificing your own life. This aspect makes the movement even more popular. Other than this, this movement makes a note-worthy addition in history due to its remarkable involvement of women empowerment.

The trees hugged by women was something that makes this movement more popular. In Rajasthan, the women of rural area stepped forward and are vocal about a crime that humans were doing against the environment. The 18th century time period took a revolting effect on every single person residing. Their purpose was to ensure that no trees are being cut down for human use.

History of Chipko Movement

It all begins when orders were announced by the King of Jodhpur Maharaja Abhay Singh to cut down the Khejri trees. This resulted in women along with other villagers stepping forward to save the trees. Later on, the kind passed a royal decree where he cancelled his order after seeing the revolting effects. This was not the end of it.

After centuries, in 1973, the Chipko movement reborn in Uttarakhand as the non-violent movement. This movement was against the loggers who used to cut down trees for their requirement. It resulted in a misbalance in an environment that didn’t sit well with citizens of the village. Hence, they tried an approach of peaceful resistance as motivation from Mahatma Gandhi.

The third time, this movement was picked up in the Himalayas when the government passed an order about clearing forest for companies. The villagers especially women stepped forward embracing trees as their new mode of protest. This non-aggressive approach was adopted by many people worldwide and the contribution of women with no free is something to remember.

Women Empowerment and their sacrifices

Chipko movement became a leading movement that promotes the empowerment of women. The true sacrifice of women came in front of everyone when Amrita Devi, a lady from Khejarli Village sacrificed her own life along with her daughters in order to save the Khejri trees. After more than two centuries the trees for which they lost their lives were dwindled due to fungal attack, groundwater level and even indiscriminate cutting.

However, it was reported that Khejri trees are now reducing at an alarming rate. It became a matter of concern in Rajasthan due to the dry city. However, Google launched a toddle in order to celebrate the anniversary of the whole movement. Their artwork was especially an artwork that represented the work done by women.

Gauri Devi led a group of ladies in 1974 in Uttrakhand where they all embrace trees so that trees won’t be cut off due to contractors. This simple effort took to a vibrant growth with resistance and eco-sensitive community work done by women. The main reason for women to fight this was to preserve the environment that was affecting their life at a wide level. it was all about the sheer survival to fight against all odds.

Bigger Picture

In addition to this, the Chipko Movement or Andolan is the one that beautifully shows women power. It represented the eco-feminist movement where women were considered as equal and a citizen instead of inferior. The best is that the nucleus formed by this movement is carried forward to the present time as well. This movement was fired up due to lack of water because of deforestation and firewood.

The perseverance and bravery that is shown by the women was remarkably represented. Especially the ecological protectors as women were given respect even today. The powerful and invaluable agent as the Chipko movement started a surge to take the social change in hands and fight it out.

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