Question 7

Discuss the role of women and communities in protection and conservation of forests.


Women and communities have played a major role in environmental conservation movements.

(i) Case study of the bishnoi community: TheBishnoi community in Rajasthan strictly believes in the concept of living peacefully with nature. In 1731, the king of Jodhpur ordered his ministers to arrange wood for the construction of his new palace. For this purpose, the minister and the workers went to bishnoi village. There, a Bishnoi woman called Amrita Devi along with her daughter and hundreds of other Bishnois showed the courage to step forward and stop them from cutting trees. They embraced the trees and lost their lives at the hands of soldiers of the king. This resistance by the people of the village forced the king to give up the idea of cutting trees.

(ii) Chipko movement: The Chipko movement was started in 1974 in the Garhwal region of the Himalayas. In this movement, the women from the village stopped the contractors from cutting forest trees by embracing them.

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