Every year, National Forest Martyrs Day is observed on September 11 in India to pay tribute to those who sacrificed their lives to protect forests and wildlife. National Forest Martyrs Day aims to create awareness about protecting forests and the environment at large. Forest Martyr incident is remembered as a key event and has inspired many activists and campaigns, including the Chipko movement, in which people hugged trees to save them from falling.
- National Forest Martyrs Day also commemorates the importance of trees and the need of trees in the current climate.
National Forest Martyr’s Day: History
- The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change decided to observe this day in 2013 in honour of forests and people who protect India’s forests, jungles, and wildlife.
- The tragic Khejarli massacre occurred on September 11th, 1730, that’s why this day has been selected as National Forest Martyrs Day.
- Maharaja Abhay Singh of Rajasthan ordered cutting down the Khejarli trees in the forest.
- Bishnoi community people protested against the order as they considered Khejarli trees to be sacred.
- A woman Amrita Devi offered her head to save Khejarli trees from being cut down, as a mark of protest.
- The children of Amrita Devi along with over 350 people were killed by the soldiers of Maharaja Abhay Singh.
Who is Amrita Devi?
- Amrita Devi (Beniwal) did sacrifice her life with her three daughters Asu, Ratni, and Bhagu in the year 1730. The Maharaja of Jodhpur ordered to cut the green trees at a place known as Khejarli in Marwar, Rajasthan. Amrita Devi sacrificed to save the trees with her more than 363 other Bishnois
Amrita Devi Vishnoi Award
- The Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh Govts distribute the prestigious state-level Amrita Devi Vishnoi Smriti Award to the Department of Forest.
- The award is given for excellent contribution to the protection and conservation of wild animals.
- The Amrita Devi Vishnoi Smriti Award includes cash of Rs 25000/- and a prashasti.
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