The National Forest Martyrs Day is annually observed on 11th September to pay tribute to all the people who sacrificed their lives to save our forest and wildlife. This day serves as a reminder of India’s rich ecosystem and to spread awareness of environmental economics. It’s been a decade since its inception in 2013, when the National Forest Martyrs Day was celebrated on 11th September.
Apart from this central government initiative, there are several state governments that took measures to preserve trees and their natural habitat. For example, the UP State Government’s Forest Department annually conducts tree plantation work in the rainy season with the objective of increasing the number of trees and forest cover in the state. The UP Government wants to promote the concept of sustainable development. This is just one example of many, where other state departments are also working simultaneously. Let’s dig deeper into how important this day is!
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What’s the History of the National Forest Martyrs Day?
In 1970, the Khejarli massacre took place in the Marwar region when the local king Maharaja Abhai Singh gave the order to cut down the trees in the Bishnoi village of Khearli. The Bishnoi community strongly opposed this action and there was a huge uproar against the king’s decision.
Under the leadership of Amrita Devi Bishnoi, the Bishnoi community refused to surrender their trees, as they worshipped trees and this would hurt their religious sentiments. When the king gave the order to cut down all the trees in this area, the Bishnoi community and their leader, Amritha Devi Bishnoi hugged the trees before they were forcefully removed.
This action resulted in a huge outrage in which almost every person living in the area participated in protecting the trees by hugging them. According to the official records, a total of 363 Bishnois lost their lives. At last, the Maharaja himself had to come out and apologise to the villagers and gave his assurance that such an incident would never happen again.
Remembering this incident in 2013, the Ministry of Environment declared that every year, 11th September will be observed as National Forest Martyrs Day.
What is the Importance of the National Forest Martyrs Day?
The importance of National Forest Martyrs Day can be highlighted by the fact that hundreds and thousands of people lost their lives in the life of duty to preserve the natural environment and its habitat. These people worked as social workers, forest guards, rangers and other fields.
This day highlights the importance of forest conservation and its related practices like biodiversity preservation, watershed protection, sustainable logging practices, etc. With this day, we must understand that trees and other natural habitats are just as important as other living beings, and we must do everything possible to maintain the ecological balance.
Also Read – Career in Ecology and Environment
How Can We Participate?
Of all the incidences related to saving forests and trees that you have heard about or read in books, produces one very interesting question; How can we participate in preserving the trees and other natural resources? Here are some of the ways in which you can participate in preserving trees and the national forests.
- Plant trees and make sure that are not taken off.
- Participate with an NGO which works for the preservation of trees and other natural vegetation.
- Get in contact with those working in biodiversity hotspots or natural wildlife and get to know their life.
- You can take the help of the internet and social media to make people aware of what National Forest Martyrs Day means.
- Study articles and news related to forest preservation and spread awareness among your friends and family.
A. The National Forest Martyrs Day is annually observed on 11th September nationwide.
A. The National Forest Martyrs Day is celebrated to honour our forest saviours who sacrificed their lives to save trees and the natural vegetation in the pre and post-independence era.
A. There are several ways in which you can contribute to this National Forest Preservation Day, some of which are; planting as many trees as you can and not cutting any tree, getting in touch with NGOs that work for the preservation of trees and forest life, spread your ideas and messages via social media, so that your voice reaches to the masses.