Chipko movement pioneer Sunderlal Bahuguna dies of COVID-19 at AIIMS; PM Modi says ‘monumental loss’ for country

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Updated: May 21, 2021 1:56 PM

AIIMS Director Ravikant informed that Sunderlal Bahuguna breathed his last at 12.05 pm.

Sunderlal bahugunaSunderlal Bahuguna was awarded Padma Vibhushan in 2009.

Chipko movement pioneer and noted environmentalist Sunderlal Bahuguna has died of COVID-19 at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh today after battling the infection for several days. He was 94. AIIMS Director Ravikant informed that Bahuguna breathed his last at 12.05 pm. He was admitted to the hospital on May 8 after testing positive for Covid-19. He had been critical since last night with his oxygen level dropping drastically, reported PTI. The hospital said that he was on CPAP therapy in the ICU. He was awarded Padma Vibhushan in 2009.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that it’s a monumental loss for the country. “Passing away of Shri Sunderlal Bahuguna Ji is a monumental loss for our nation. He manifested our centuries-old ethos of living in harmony with nature. His simplicity and spirit of compassion will never be forgotten. My thoughts are with his family and many admirers. Om Shanti,” he said in a tweet.

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat said that Bahuguna’s work in the field will always be remembered. “Received very painful news of the demise of Shri Sundarlal Bahuguna, the leader of the Chipko movement, Padma Vibhushan, the famous environmentalist known in the world as Vrikshamitra. I am distressed to hear the news. This is an irreparable loss not only to Uttarakhand but to the entire country,” he said in a tweet.

He said that Bahuguna’s always gave priority to the issues of land and water. “The efforts of Shri Bahuguna ji, who gave priority to the issues of water in hills, land in forests and rights of the people in the states, will always be remembered,” he said.

“He was awarded the Jamnalal Bajaj Award in 1986 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2009 for his significant contribution in the field of environmental protection. In the field of environmental protection, Mr. Sunderlal Bahuguna’s works will be written in golden letters in history,” added the CM.

Rawat prayed that peace be upon the departed soul and to give strength to the grieving family.

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