Important Movements in India - Environment Movements




Environment movements:

  • We are aware that environmental degradation is a serious problem at the national and international levels.
  • At the international level, several movements are working to stop the deterioration of the environment.
  • In India, many movements are working on different aspects of the environment.
  • The environment movements are taking up issues like the protection of biodiversity, protection of different sources of water, protection of forests, green belt, pollution of rivers, use of chemicals and their ill effects, etc.

Important Environmental Movement:

1. Chipko movement:

  • When the forest authority denied the villagers' request to cut down ash trees for the purpose of creating agricultural tools, however, the forest service gave a sports manufacturer permission to utilize the same parcel of land for business purposes, the campaign had its start in two or three villages in Uttarakhand. 
  • Hugging the trees to stop them from being cut down was their new protest strategy.
  • These protests marked the beginning of a world-famous environmental movement in our country – the Chipko movement.
  • Larger issues of the region's exploitation on an ecological and economic level were brought up. The villagers asked that neither outsiders nor locals should be granted any contracts for forest exploitation.
  • Natural resources including land, water, and forests should be effectively managed by communities. They demanded that the government give small businesses access to low-cost supplies and guarantee regional development without upsetting the ecological balance. 
  • The initiative raised the financial woes of landless forest workers and demanded minimum wage guarantees.
    Chipko movement

2. Narmada Bachao Aandolan:

  • In the early 1980s, a large-scale construction project was started in the Narmada valley in central India. The project included 135 dams totaling 30 large dams that were built on the Narmada and its tributaries, which flow through the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Madhya Pradesh.
  • 245 villages from these States were predicted to be affected during the dam's construction. It was necessary to relocate almost 2.5 lakh residents from these villages. Local activist groups brought up the issues of relocation and effective rehabilitation of those affected by the project early.
  • The movement claimed that such an analysis must account for the larger societal costs of the developmental undertakings. The forced relocation of those affected by the project, the severe loss of their way of life and culture, and the degradation of ecological resources were some of the social costs.
  • The NBA argued that such decisions should involve local people and that they should have real power over resources like water, land, and forests.
  • Over twenty years were spent in persistent agitation by the Narmada Bachao Aandolan.
    Narmada Bachao Aandolan


Dr. Rajendra Singh

  • Dr. Rajendra Singh also known as ‘Waterman of India’ has brought the Water revolution in Rajasthan. He became famous because of building thousands of ‘Johad’ in Rajasthan.
  • He revived rivers in the desert of Rajasthan. He formed an organization - ‘Tarun Bharat Sangh’ which worked for building eleven thousand Johad in hundreds of villages.
  • All over India, he started a campaign for water conservation, revival of rivers, forest conservation, and wildlife conservation.
  • His social movement is active for the last 31 years. He won the Stockholm Water Prize, an award known as the ‘Nobel Prize for water'.
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