Gaura Devi

Gaura Devi

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Category: Social Work , Environment

Gaura Devi Profile

  • Name:
  • Gaura Devi
  • Born / Home Town:
  • Lata

Gaura Devi Biography

Gaura Devi was an environmentalist and Chipko activist of 20th century who lived in the Himalayas. She lived during the period, 1925 – 1991. This social activist was a nature lover, and a forest conservation activist. Chipko Andolan is a movement that practised methods of Satyagraha, where people prevent trees from being cut down. Gaura was a peasant woman who gathered women of her village and neighbourhood and they together prevented loggers from felling trees by hugging trees. Their non-violent act first done on 26 March 1974 to protect nature and trees gave birth to the modern Indian environmental movement, which is commonly known as Chipko Andolan.

 

Gaura Devi was born in 1925 in Lata village of Chamoli district, Uttarakhand. Later she moved to Reni by the Alaknanda River. She got married at a young age and became a widow too. By the age of 22, she was a widow with a child. A lover of trees and nature, her attempt to save trees in the early 1970s gave birth to one of the prominent activist movements called Chipko Andolan. Suraksha Devi, Sudesha Devi, Bachni Devi and Chandi Prasad Bhatt are a few more female activists from Uttarakhand who played vital roles in Chipko Andolan.

 

Following her first attempt to save trees on 26 March 1974, Gaura Devi was elected to lead the Mahila Mangal Dal. In her attempt to save trees, she challenged the men to shoot her instead of cutting down the trees. For her, forest was her mother’s home. Later Uttar Pradesh Government established a committee to investigate the issue of felling of trees. As Reni forest was an ecologically sensitive area, a 10-year ban was imposed by government. Gaura Devi passed away in 1991.

Published: February 03, 2019

Updated: February 03, 2019

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