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India & Its Disappearing 50 Shades Of Green

India & Its Disappearing Forest

 

According to Government data, India has 21.34% of the forest cover. Good news? Not really! India must have 33% forest cover for sustainable development. Not only are we falling short of forest cover by a very big margin, but according to the research body "Down to Earth" India's 'good forest cover is just 12%.

 

With Indian population growing at a very fast pace, forests are being cleared  to make room for this growing number. Trees are being cut in the name of development. Ecosystem is being destroyed and we could be at the point of no return.

 

Trees not only give us wood, shade and food they also harbour avian life. They also hold the soil together and contribute majorly in the formation of rains. There is an urgent need to save and make India greener. Can we simply pass the buck and expect the government to deliver? No. India can become green again and we can be the change. Here are a few examples of several powerful ecological movements of India that saved the environment...

 

Chipko Movement:

 

Chipko Movement

 

When  a drive to clear forests of Uttarakhand began, Sunderlal Bahuguna and Chandi Prasad Bhatt hit upon a novel solution. They asked people from their village to 'chipko' or stick to the trees by hugging them. This movement gained international attention and successfully saved the forests of Garhwals. This also inspired the Appiko movement of Karnataka.

 

Jungle Bachao Andolan:

 

India & Its Disappearing Forest

 

This was a movement initiated by the tribals of Bihar from the Singhbhaum District. They simply refused to let the government clear the native Sal tree with Teak. Teak wood has high commercial value, but the tribals worship Sal tree and hence resisted the government.

 

Save the Silent Valley movement:

 

India & Its Disappearing Forest

 

Silent valley located in Palakkad district of Kerala is a treasure trove. But this forest was on the verge of destruction all thanks to the Kuthipuzha hydro-electric project. Periyar river, flora and fauna of the Silent valley were in danger. But the residents protested and a committee was formed by the government and the project was scrapped.

 

All these examples highlight that we need not depend on the government for saving the nature. We can be the change we want to be. We must encourage forestation and prevent mindless destruction of forest cover because Nature is not a gift from our elders but it is a loan from our children.

 

 

 

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