Inspirations‘The Guardian Angel of Wood’ who sacrificed her daughters, self to save...

‘The Guardian Angel of Wood’ who sacrificed her daughters, self to save trees

Are your aware of the environmentalist who excited in the year 1730?  Do you know about this woman smilingly sacrificed her life along with her daughters and 363 other people to save trees?


Yeah, I know, you must be…

But this is a real story of a woman Amrita Devi who lived during the reign of Jodhpur ruler Maharaja Abhay Singh and started a non-violent Chipko Andolan to save trees from being cut by the then Jodhpur ruler Maharaja Abhay Singh. The king wanted to build a plush palace on jungle land.

When the king’s team reached her village to chop off ”Khejri” trees for the construction of his new palace, Amrita Devi strongly protested the royal attempt to cut trees as it is prohibited in the Bishnoi religion.

She told the royal team that cutting trees has been described as an insult to her faith and she would prefer sacrificing her life to save these trees. She stood up for the cause and said  that if a tree can saved at the cost of one’s head, it’s should be worth it.

On her call, people came out and embraced the trees to save them and hence started the Chipko Andolan.

The royal team took it as an insult and the axes, which were brought to cut the trees, severed her head. Also, head of her three daughters namely Asu, Ratni and Bhagu, were also severed,” he said.

The sacrifice of mother and daughters did not go off silently and Bishnoi community from 83 villages gathered to decide that one volunteer would sacrifice his or her life for each tree which will be cut in the forest. overall, 363 people became martyrs.

Soon Bishnois fro 83 villages gathered and it was decided that one volunteer would sacrifice his or her life for every green tree to be cut. In this process, many lost their lives and 363 of them become martyrs,” he added.

When the king got the news of Chipko Andolan, he visited the village to apologise to the villagers. He promised that no trees and animals shall be hurt further wherever the Bishnois lived.

Even today, each year, people gather in Khejarli, 28 km away from Jodhpur, to remember this sacrifice of their ancestors and they still follow a principle -Environment first.

Can we too follow the footsteps of Amrita Devi to protect nature? Let’s pledge, “Yes we will to bring a better future for our kids.”

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