In the 1970s, floods in Himalayan rivers caused mass destruction to the villages in Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh in India. The villagers were the first to identify the root cause of this to be the destruction of forests. This led to discussions and protests all over the country against felling of trees in the Himalayan Forests. The 'Chipko Movement' is a collective name used to refer to a number of such struggles.
The name of the movement comes from the word 'embrace', as the villagers hugged the trees, and prevented their felling. Chipko movement was a non-violent Gandhian movement in which thousands of tribals were actively involved. They would cling to the trees when the woodcutters tried to chop them. Thus, they dared to be killed before anyone planted their axe on the trees.The Chipko Movement of 1973 was one of the most famous among these.This was concentrated in the Alaknanda valleys, near
Sunderial Bbahuguna was one of the leaders of the movement. He collected opinion of the masses in favor of the movement and thousands of vilagers, including women and children assembled behind him.
The Chipko Movement gained Nation wide attraction and this inspired many other ecological movements in India. This was one of the key reasons for the increase in the environmental awareness in the 1990s in India.