New Delhi, July 29
The Delhi Assembly unanimously passed a resolution on Thursday, urging the Centre to posthumously confer the Bharat Ratna, the country’s highest civilian honour, on noted environmentalist Sunderlal Bahuguna.
Participating in a debate on the resolution on the first day of the assembly’s Monsoon Session, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said although the House is passing this resolution, the entire country wants that the Bharat Ratna be conferred on Bahuguna.
“I think it will be an honour for the Bharat Ratna if the highest civilian award goes to Bahuguna,” he said.
Kejriwal pointed out that Bahuguna, who led the pioneering Chipko movement, not only protected the environment but also worked for many other social causes.
Opposition BJP, too, supported the resolution.
The chief minister had earlier written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in this regard.
Bahuguna’s life has been commemorated in the Vidhan Sabha premises and his portrait installed in the gallery, he said.
“Bahuguna started working to protect the environment when he was just 13. He raised his voice against untouchability. He made hostels for Dalits. Like Babasaheb Ambedkar struggled to ensure entry of Dalits in temples, Bahuguna ji too kept struggling for that cause in his area. He worked towards the cause of de-addiction extensively,” Kejriwal said.
“I am delighted that the entire house and all parties are unanimously passing this resolution. I hope the central government will pay heed to the demand of the country and honour Bahuguna. The resolution reads that he be honoured for his contribution to the environment. I feel that he has contributed to all spheres of life and was not only limited to the environment,” the chief minister added.
The Chipko movement, started by Bahuguna at the foothills of the Himalayas in 1973, was a forest conservation movement in India. It later became a rallying point for many environmental movements across the world. PTI