Chipko Activist Of Uttarakhand
Gaura Devi was born in a village named Laata in the state of Uttarakhand. She moved to a nearby village named Reni by the Alaknanda River. By the age of 22 she was a widow with a child. Her new village was near to the border with Tibet. Devi was elected to lead the Mahila Mangala Dal (Women’s Welfare Association)
Gaura Devi came to notice in 1974 when she was told that local loggers were felling trees on 25 March by a young girl. The men of the village had been tricked out of the village by news that the government was going to pay out compensation for land used by the army. It fell to Devi and 27 other women to tackle the loggers. They managed to halt their work by hugging the trees despite the abuse of the armed loggers. They kept guard of the trees that night and over the next three or four days other villages and villagers joined the action. The loggers left leaving the trees.
Devi died in 1991.
By – Dr. J.P. Juyal
Uttaranchal (P.G.) College Of Bio-Medical Sciences & Hospital