Love a Tree Day

Love a Tree Day is celebrated on May 16th of each year in celebration of the Chipko movement of Chipko Andolan that practiced the Gandhian methods of satyagraha and non-violent resistance, through the act of hugging trees to protect them from being felled.

The modern Chipko movement started in the early 1970s in the Garhwal Himalayas of Uttarakhand, then in Uttar Pradesh with growing awareness towards rapid deforestation. The landmark event in this struggle took place on March 26, 1974, when a group of peasant women in Reni village, Hemwalghati, in Chamoli district, Uttarakhand, India, acted to prevent the cutting of trees and reclaim their traditional forest rights that were threatened by the contractor system of the state Forest Department. Their actions inspired hundreds of such actions at the grassroots level throughout the region. By the 1980s the movement had spread throughout India and led to formulation of people-sensitive forest policies, which put a stop to the open felling of trees in regions as far reaching as Vindhyas and the Western Ghats. Today, it is seen as an inspiration and a precursor for Chipko movement of Garhwal.