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In 1973, Raini village of Chamoli district faced a threat from loggers who wanted to cut their forest.
Gaura Devi and 27 other women decided to tackle the loggers. They confronted and challenged the men to shoot her instead of cutting down the trees and they described the forest as "Vandevta" (God of Jungle) and her maika (mother's house). Finally, the women of Raini managed to halt the work of loggers by hugging the trees despite the abuse and threats of the armed loggers.
The movement is an inspiration to many environmental movements across the world and is famously known as the ‘Chipko movement’.
Since the formation of Uttarakhand in 2000, developmental projects in the Himalayas are not only robbing Raini villagers of the forest that they once saved, but also threatening their village's existence by forcing them to be displaced.
Duka Devi, one of the many women of the Chipko movement, said, “I don't want to leave my village, my soil. But the circumstances are forcing me to leave. My heart doesn't want to let go. Nothing can replace my village.”