SN Tripathi Memorial Lectures (2011)…

'Himalayas are Seismically Active...'
Shri Chandi Prasad Bhah

Born in Gopeshwar, District Chamoli of UttaranchaL Padma Bhushan Shri Chandi Prasad Bhatt,is known for Chipko Andolan is thefounder of DasholiGramSwarajya Mandai,the parent institution of the Chipko movement (Hugging the Trees) a non­ violent methodology to safeguard the forest from being felled.

Since past3decadesDr Bhatt has activelybeenworkingfor rejuvenatingthe denuded slopes in the Upper Alak:nanda basin through eco-development camps involving the local community participation particularly women and youth.

He has received many prestigious national and international awards including Padam Shushan, Padamshri, Raman Magasaysay, Real Heroes-Life Time Achievement Awards, Global 500 award by UNDP, Indian for Collective Action Award by USA to name a few. Dr Chandi Prasad Bhatt has various publications including 5 books and many papers to his credit Currently Dr Chandi Prasad Bhatt is the Chairman of Task force on High altitude medicinal plants, National Medicinal Plant Board, Department of Ayush, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (Govt of India) and also an Advisor of Rural Technology Action Group (Rutag),Office of the Principal Scientific Advisor, Govt of India.

Dr Bhatt has headed various important committees in last more than three decades.

From Laddakh to Sikkim,many big glaciers are shrinking in size including Bhagirath by 11%, Alaknanda by 15%, Gauri& Dholi by 16%. Some of the glaciers are shrunk by 38%. It is not alone the rise in global temperature that is affecting these glaciers but the rise in local temperature also has its share in disturbing glaciers, ice-ponds in Himalayas!

In the year 2008,Kosi,a tributary of the river Ganges,altered its course by 35 kilometers,totally disturbing the lives of people at leastin four of the districts,connected withthe altered course of the river asthey could never even think that the riverwill change its course!

Almost all the rivers from those in North East to Ganges, Godavari, Kaveri etc are disturbed and so are the hills-the disastrous effect of nature's fury is quite visible not only in hills but in plains also in the form of frequent floods, earthquakes disturbing the life of millions!

The beautiful Rhododendrons flowers that bloom in the month of March-April have now started flowering in January thanks to the changing climate. People in hills find this unnatural phenomenon as an indicator of a bad omen!

People of the hills heard the silent but a deadly turbulence in nature threatening their life line-the forests and the hills. They united together in protest against the wrong policies concerning forest...and it became one of the most powerful people's movement-the Chipko Movement, that forced all those who mattered including the state government, to review their policies, listen to the people and also their ways to handle the problem.