The whole world celebrates Sunday June 5, 2022 as World Environment Day. In 1972, the United Nations General Assembly had announced to celebrate this day during the Stockholm Conference. This was the first conference on environmental protection. After this, every year since 1974, this date is known as Environment Day all over the world. The purpose of declaring this day is to make people aware of the environment and to make them realize their responsibilities.
Various programs including tree plantation are organized all over the world on this day. However, there is no special day for environmental protection. Such an example has been set by various personalities of our country. Before and after the advent of Environment Day, there were many people in India who dedicated their whole life to the environment.
Sundar Lal Bahuguna:
Sunderlal Bahuguna is known as the leader of the Chipko movement and the most prominent environmentalist in the country. He got worldwide fame for protecting the environment and trees. People also gave him the name of tree friend. Sunder Lal Bahuguna was born in the year 1927 in Tehri Garhwal. In the early 1980s, he toured the entire Garhwal region and worked to make people aware of trees and the environment. Sunderlal Bahuguna also opposed the famous Tehri Dam. He believed that Uttarakhand comes in an earthquake-affected area and the construction of this dam can be fatal. The Government of India honored Sunderlal Bahuguna with Padma Shri in 1981 and Padma Vibhushan in 2001. In the year 2021, Bahuguna said goodbye to the world.
Tulsi Gowda, who belongs to the mild indigenous tribe of Karnataka, is known to the whole world today and considers her as her ideal. Tulsi, 72, is called the Encyclopedia of Forests. The reason for this is the knowledge of plants and vegetation in their possession. Tulsi, who has been planting saplings for 12 years, has so far planted 30 to 40 thousand trees. He was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India in the year 2021. To receive the Padma award, Tulsi had reached Rashtrapati Bhavan barefoot in her traditional tribal dress. It was the main center of attraction in the ceremony.
Salumarada Thimmakka, who hails from the Tumkur district of Karnataka, is an inspiration for the country today. You will be surprised to know here that their age is 110 years and they have been doing plantation work for the last 80 years. Thimmakka considers banyan trees as her children. This is because they have no children of their own. He has planted more than 8 thousand trees. There are about 375 banyan trees in these. In the year 2019, the Government of India honored him with the Padma Shri award. The President of the country, Ram Nath Kovind himself bowed his head and bowed to him.
Whenever it comes to environmental protection in the country, Medha Patkar’s name comes in the front row of the list. In 1979, the government decided to build a dam on the Narmada and its tributaries. Due to this decision, thousands of people had to face the problem of displacement and resettlement. Against this, Medha Patkar started the Narmada Bachao Andolan. Soon his movement became popular among the masses. Even in today’s time, the name of Medha is at the forefront of those who raise their voice on any decision to harm the environment in the country.
Lisipriya Kangujam: Youngest environmental activist
Lisipriya Kangujam from Manipur is the youngest (10 years) environmental activist in the world. At a very young age, Lisipriya is quite vocal about environmental protection. Lisipriya was awarded the International Children’s Peace Prize by the Kids-Rights Foundation in the year 2019. Apart from this, he has also been awarded the Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Children’s Award and India Peace Prize. He addressed the COP25 climate conference held in Spain in the year 2019 and asked the world leaders to take concrete steps against climate change as soon as possible. Lisipriya Kangujam is an inspiration to many today. She is proving that talent never limits age.