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The tree which saved a life: How the environment suffered in the glacier burst in Uttarakhand.

18 Feb 2021 1:42 PM | Anonymous

Raini village of Uttarakhand has been a home of the brave. With a lot of homes being of serving/retired army men, the villagers are known for their courage and determination. The stories of the struggle for saving the trees by Gaura Devi, during the Chipko movement is still alive in the hearts of the people from Raini village.

While trees often don't figure in the development parameters of the village, Usha Negi from Raini village now credits her life to the trees in the vicinity of her village. She has pledged to never cut any tree, and actively stop people from doing it in the area.

When we met Usha Ji, she was just rescued from a tree branch on the shore of Alaknanda river, close to the dam site. She was washed with the flash floods from her farm and caught a tree branch on the banks. After 6+ hours of wait amidst heavily flowing river, she continued to hold on to the tree, while the rumble continued to bruise her legs. Later at the hospital, she cried for hours recollecting the trauma of witnessing the disaster unravelling before her eyes. She had spent years working in the real-estate sector, cutting trees for building hotels and homes, during the minutes when she had no hopes left of her life, a tree came in between and gave her a new life.

While this tree saved Usha's life, 800+ trees got uprooted in the flash floods. This is a permanent and long term damage to the entire environmental ecosystem, with implications on future floods and landslides.

Sewa International is planning an environmental rehabilitation drive in the area, with massive afforestation efforts, and replanning the village farms to reduce future damages and rebuild the lost environmental resources.

Let's plant our lifesavers and save Uttarakhand!


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