Indian environmentalists have been ceaselessly working for making the environment cleaner for our future generations. They adopt and promote sustainable products. They are actively involved in activities that are environment-friendly.
Here we talk about some world-famous senior Indian environmentalists. They have adopted the habit of sustainable living from a very young age. Right since their youth, they have supported causes for a greener environment. Even today, they hope to pass their knowledge to as many people as possible so that everybody adopts the concepts of sustainable aging as they have.
Chandi Prasad Bhatt
Chandi Prasad Bhatt is an Indian environmentalist who formed the Dasholi Gram Swarajya Sangh (DGSS) in Gopeshwar in 1964. He was one of the pioneers of the Chipko Movement in 1973. He has received the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership in 1982. He has also received the Padma Bhushan in 2005 and the Gandhi Peace Prize in 2013.
Bhatt was inspired by a Gandhian leader, Jayprakash Narayan. Thereafter, he threw himself wholeheartedly into various movements that worked for the betterment of the ecological system. He is now considered one of India’s modern ecologists, having several publications to his name regarding subaltern social ecology.
Vandana Shiva is an Indian scholar, environmentalist, and food sovereignty advocate. She is also a part of a social organization called alter-globalization that advocates global cooperation and interaction without the negative effects of economic globalization. Vandana Shiva has authored more than 20 books. She has talked extensively about advances in the field of agriculture. She has also worked at the ground level for the Green movement in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Switzerland, and Austria.
Vandana has started the Navdhanya or Nine Seeds, an initiative to educate farmers of the benefits of maintaining individualized crops. She actively promotes biodiversity in agriculture to promote productivity and nutrition.
Sugathakumari is an Indian poet and environmental activist. She has founded Prakrithi Samrakshana Samithi, an organization working actively for the protection of nature and Abhaya, which is a home for destitute women and a day-care center for the mentally ill. She played an active role in the Save Silent Valley protest in 1973.
Sugathakumari has won several awards like the Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award (1968), Kendra Sahitya Akademi Award (1978) and Saraswati Samman (2012) among others. She was also awarded the Padma Shri in 2006.
Sunderlal Bahuguna is an environmentalist from Garhwal. He was the leader of the Chipko movement. In fact, his wife suggested this movement and he implemented it. He has been relentlessly fighting for the preservation of forests in the Himalayan region. He also led the anti-Tehri Dam movement that started in 1980 up to 2004. He is considered one of the earliest environmentalists of India.
In his younger days, he covered 4700 km on foot to study the rural lifestyle and the changes they experienced in case a mega project cropped up. The Chipko movement in 1974 was started to protect deforestation in the Himalayan valley. He held a 5000 km march across the Himalayan villages to bring the movement to prominence. He gathered support from the villagers and protested against the establishment of these projects in lieu of destroying agricultural land and livelihood.
Saalumarada Thimakka is an Indian environmentalist from Karnataka. She gained popularity by planting and tending to385 banyan trees along a four-kilometer stretch of highway between Hulikal and Kudur. She has constantly worked for increasing green cover and has planted over 8000 trees to date.
An environmental organization in the U.S. is named Thimakka’s Resources for Environmental Education after Saalumarada Thimakka. She has received various awards including the Padma Shri and National Citizen Award for her work. She is often invited to afforestation programs. She also is actively involved in social activities like making storage tanks for harvesting rainwater in her village. She has also set up a trust to construct a hospital in her village.