Shimla Environmentalist Fights Through Flames To Save Seven Chicks
23-year-old environmentalist, Raveena Chauhan, fought the blazing forest fire while authorities in Himachal Pradesh seemed to neglect the massive environmental loss
Recently, Shimla faced furious forest fires triggered due to prolonged dry spells and early summer this year. Such wildfires are not only bad for the environment but wildlife suffers tremendously due to the fires along with their habitat. Amidst one such forest fire in Chail, 23-year-old Shimla environmentalist, Raveena Chauhan, managed to save a beautiful dove family while authorities in Himachal Pradesh seemed to neglect the massive environmental loss.
However, the young homegrown environmentalist from Village Odli in Chail has set an example for all. She kept fighting the flames for five hours to protect her house from the furious fire. After that, she ran into the forests to save the local inhabitants from being burned into the ashes. After the fire was extinguished, she managed to save the birth of seven chicks, which were born after the fires destroyed half of the jungle and the nests of these poor birds.
Speaking about her forest fire experience, Chauhan told Outlook that she found the eggs on the ground after the fire was extinguished. She found their nest semi-burnt while the mother bird – a dove (ghughuti in local dialect) – was struggling to hatch the eggs. Seeing the agony of the mother bird, Chauhan picked up the eggs and put them in a nest she made using dry pine needles and leaves. Finally, the mother bird hatched her eggs and brought seven chicks to life.
Authorities Under Scrutiny
The video of Chauhan’s novel act has already gone viral on social media showing her bravery and kindness. After her viral video, many media personnel interacted with her to know what exactly happened.
She told them that the forest fire was going on for almost three days. She even informed the forest department and made a few calls to control room numbers. But no one showed up for 48 hours. When she saw the fire approaching her village, she was left with no choice but to fight back alone. Noticing her struggle with the blaze, the villagers also joined her. Together the villagers managed to douse the fire before the forest team arrived at the spot.
However, this has put the forest department under scrutiny. Where were they sleeping all this time when the flames were engulfing forests? It’s quite evident that the forest department in the area does not seem to take action unless something major happens.
About Raveena Chauhan
Chauhan is a post-graduate in political science. She lost her father two-three years back and now lives with her mother and younger sister. After completing her studies, she is back in her village to do farming. She also works as a Shimla environmental activist. She has briefly worked with Major General (Rtd) Atul Kaushik, currently, chairman of HP (private) educational institutions Regulatory Commission, who also runs an NGO – Pahari Samaj Paryavaran Kawach.
Throwing light on this matter, Kaushik mentioned that most of the forest fires are due to negligence, and the majority of the cases are deliberate. However, environmentally-active villagers, especially women, are making a lot of effort to ensure that nobody does mischief.
Nonetheless, the statistics show that the state witnessed the highest number of forest fires in 2018-19. There are around 2,544 forest fire incidents this year followed by 1,445 in 2019-20.