National Forest Martyrs Day 2023 – Objectives, History, Ways to Observe, and Facts

National Forest Martyrs Day is an important day in India. It is a day when we remember the brave men and women who lost their lives protecting forests. Observed annually on 11th September, this day reminds us of the incredible dedication of our forest guards, rangers, and forest officers. Every day they risk their lives to protect the natural resources of our country.

Another aim of National Forest Martyrs Day 2023 is to raise awareness about the importance of our forests and wildlife. Forests play a crucial role in maintaining the ecological balance on Earth. Unfortunately, the forests in India are getting decreased due to factors like urbanization, encroachment, etc.

National Forest Martyrs Day 2023 Overview

Name of the eventNational Forest Martyrs Day 2023
Date11th September 2023
AimTo honour those who lost their lives protecting our jungles
Established byMinistry of Environment, Government of India

Objectives and Significance of National Forest Martyrs Day

Forest guards and officials have to face a lot of challenges in the line of duty. Many of them have lost their lives due to activities like illegal logging, encroachment, poaching, etc. The main objective of National Forest Martyrs Day 2023 is to recognize the selfless service of all those who made supreme sacrifices to protect our forests.

This day is utterly significant because it reminds us that the forests of our country are not only a valuable natural resource but also a part of our cultural heritage. We must do whatever we can to preserve them for future generations. It is the perfect day to raise awareness about the importance of forests and their conservation. This day also encourages people to show love and respect for the forest officials. By joining hands and coming together, we can make sure that the sacrifices made by forest guards and officers are never forgotten.

History of National Forest Martyrs Day

India has a long and rich history of forest conservation which dates back to the Vedic period. The Vedas give evidence of the significance of trees and forests. However, Forest Martyrs Day is observed in remembrance of the Khejarli massacre of 1730. This massacre took place in Jodhpur, Rajasthan.

It is the story of a brave woman called Amrita Devi who used to live in Khejarli village in Rajasthan. At that time, the village was home to a large number of trees. However, Maharaja Abhay Singh of Jodhpur was determined to clear the forest to make way for his expanding kingdom. He issued a warning that his soldiers will cut down all trees in the area and anyone caught trying to protect them would be severely punished.

Amrita Devi along with other fellow villagers of the Bishnoi community refused to just stand by and watch their beloved forest getting destroyed. The Bishnoi community consider Khejri trees to be sacred and believed that they provided shelter to birds and animals. They hugged the trees and refused to move even in the face of violence. In the end, they paid the ultimate price for their bravery. The soldiers cut down the trees killing Amrita Devi and 362 other villagers.

Check the List of Special Days in September

Their bravery inspired a movement to protect forests across India. In 2013, the Ministry of Environment decided to mark 11th September the date when the Khejarli massacre happened as National Forest Martyrs Day in India.

Ways to Observe National Forest Martyrs Day 2023

Here are some ways to observe National Forest Martyrs Day 2023:

  1. Plant a tree: One of the best ways to honour those who have lost their lives in the protection of forests is to plant a tree in their memory. You can plant a tree in your home, nearby park, or a forest.
  2. Learn more about the Importance of forests: Take some time to learn about the significance of forests and their role in our lives. You can read books, watch documentaries, etc.
  3. Take part in the forest conservation program: You can find many forest conservation programs that need volunteers. These programs usually include tree-planting drives, forest management activities, etc.
  4. Organize a forest clean-up: You may also gather a group of your friends and organize a forest clean-up. Help restore the damaged areas of the forest by picking up trash, removing invasive species, etc.
  5. Spread awareness: Consider using social media or other platforms to spread awareness about National Forest Martyrs Day. You may share the story of Amrita Devi and other forest martyrs to encourage others to get involved in protecting our natural resources.  

Some Important Facts about Forests in India

Check out some facts about Indian forests that all of us should know.

  • India is home to 8% of the world’s forests.
  • The forest cover in India is around 23% of the total geographical area of the country.
  • There are around 90 national parks and over 500 wildlife sanctuaries in India.
  • India’s forests are under threat from deforestation, encroachment, and illegal logging.
  • The Sundarbans in West Bengal is the largest delta in the world. It is also home to the Royal Bengal Tiger.
  • The Asiatic lions are only found in the Gir forest in Gujarat. No other place in the world has them.
  • Indian forests are a source of livelihood for several indigenous communities. These communities depend on forests for food, medicine, and other resources.
  • Fortunately, Forest conservation efforts in India have helped to improve the condition of forests through initiatives like community forestry and eco-tourism.
  • The Forest Survey of India is responsible for providing valuable data including forest cover, forest density, and other important metrics.
  • India has 16 major types of forests. It ranges from tropical rainforests to temperate forests.

Frequently Asked Questions

When did National Forest Martyrs Day begin?

In the year 2013.

Why is National Forest Martyrs Day celebrated?

To pay tribute to the brave personnel and officers who have given their lives while protecting the forests of India.

When is National Forest Martyrs Day?

It is celebrated annually on 11th September.

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