Noted environmentalist Sunderlal Bahuguna dies of COVID-19

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The 94-year-old was admitted to the hospital on May 8 after his oxygen levels started fluctuating.
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Sunderlal Bahuguna

Guwahati: Noted environmentalist and Chipko movement pioneer Sunderlal Bahuguna died at All India Institute of medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Rishikesh on Friday after battling COVID-19 for several days.

The 94-year-old was admitted to the hospital on May 8 after his oxygen levels started fluctuating. He has been suffering from Covid-like symptoms 10 days prior to hospital admission.

Bahuguna, an eco-activist, spent his life persuading and educating the villagers to protest against the destruction of the forest and Himalayan mountains. It was his endeavor then that saw Prime Minister Indira Gandhi banning the cutting of trees.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi took Twitter to express his grief over Bahuguna’s demise saying, “it is “monumental loss” for our nation, and he manifested our centuries-old ethos of living in harmony with nature.”

Born on January 9, Bahuguna is considered the pioneer of the Chipko movement of the 1970s which he had launched along with dedicated environment conservationists like Gaura Devi to save forests.

Conferred with the Padmavibhushan and many other honours for his pioneering work in the field of environment protection, Bahuguna also led the protests against the construction of the Tehri dam.

The Chipko Movement received the 1987 Right livelihood Award, also referred to as the Alternative Novel Prize, “… for dedication to the conservation, restoration and ecologically-sound use of India’s resources.”

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