Chandi Prasad Bhatt, the noted Gandhian environmentalist and social activist won the Gandhi Peace Prize for the year 2013 on 28 February 2014.
Chandi Prasad Bhatt
• Bhatt was one of the pioneers of the Chipko movement (His founded Dasholi Gram Swarajya Sangh became the mother-organisation to Chipko movement) for which he was awarded with the Ramon Magsaysay Award in 1982
• In 2005, he was awarded with Padma Bhushan
• He was born in 1934
• He is known for his work on Subaltem social ecology and in one of the first modern environmentalists
The jury that took the decision of awarding Bhatt with the peace prize was headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and decided on Bhatt. Other members of the jury were
• Chief Justice of India P. Sathasivam
• Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj
• Rajya Sabha member Karan Singh
• former West Bengal Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi
A decision of a group of peasants in a remote Himalayan village (Reni village of Chamoli, Uttrakhand) to stop a group of loggers from felling a patch of trees has been termed as Chipko Movement. The name was dubbed as the protesters hugged trees to protect them from being felled. This landmark struggle to protect trees started on 27 March 1973 and can be considered as the modern Indian environmental movement.
About Gandhi Peace Prize
The government of India launched the International Gandhi Peace Prize in 1995 on the occasion of the 125th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. It is a very prestigious Award and carries an amount of 10 million rupees, a citation and a Plaque. The Award is selected by a Jury under the Chairmanship of the Prime Minister.
This is an annual award given to individuals and institutions for their outstanding contributions towards social, economic and political transformation through non-violence, and other Gandhian methods, for amelioration of human sufferings particularly of the less privileged sections of the society, contributing social justice and harmony.
People awarded with Gandhi Peace Prize are
• 2005 - Desmond Tutu, the South African cleric and activist
• 2004 - Coretta Scott King, the widow of Martin Luther King
• 2003 - Vaclav Havel, Former President of Czechoslovakia and first President of the Czech Republic
• 2002 - Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan, Educational Trust that emphasized Indian culture
• 2001 - John Hume-Ireland, Nothern Irish Politician
• 2000 - Grameen Bank (co-recipient), Founded by Muhammad Yunus
• 2000 - Dr. Nelson Mandela & Grameen Bank of Bangladesh, Former President of South Africa
• 1999 - Murlidhar Devidas Amte (Baba Amte), India
• 1998 - Ramakrishna Mission, India
• 1997 - Dr. Gerhard Fischer, Former German Diplomat
• 1996 - Dr. A. T. Ariyaratane, President, Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement, Sri Lanka
• 1995 - Dr. Julius K. Nyerere, Former President of Tanzania