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Jai Prakash Dabral

Jai Prakash Dabral — Environmentalist Jai Prakash Dabral waged one of the biggest environmental battles at ground zero by motivating people in Tadkeshwar at Rudraprayag to start a Chipko-style campaign which he called the Raksha Sutra.

But Dabral knew that the villager’s peaceful protest would only provide for a temporary solution. And therefore he decided to move Supreme Court and file a PIL against the proposed chopping of trees by the Powergrid Corporation of India.

“The Powergrid Corporation had taken a sanction from the Ministry of Environment for 90,000 trees. After our intervention after they had already cut more than 5,000 trees. We intervened, and were able to save most of the trees. The entire number of tree felling on the entire transmission line has now been reduced from 90,000 to just about 10,000,” says Dabral.

Though the Supreme Court’s directive was remarkable, things only got tougher for Dabral after that.

He started receiving death threats from Tehri’s local timber mafia. But an undeterred Dabral decided to expose the nexus to the SC and the Media.

“Each tree is valued at around Rs 30,000. For 90,000 trees the value would have been Rs 270 crore. Right from the chief minister, the forest minister, the forest department officials, the DFO, the ranger, everybody is getting a share in this,” informs Dabral.

The Environmentalist, who stepped out of the corporate boardroom to keep a promise 12 years ago, has been his motivation till date.

“It was the promise which I had given to my grandmother. I had promised her that when I have done something in life I would positively come back to the hills and contribute to the development of the hills. This is ambition for me. Whatever life I have left, I am going to devote entirely to the hills,” says Dabral.

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