Sunderlal Bahuguna (9 January 1927 – 21 May 2021) was an Indian environmentalist and Chipko movement leader. The idea of the Chipko movement was his wife’s. He fought for the preservation of forests in the Himalayas, first as a member of the Chipko movement in the 1970s, and later spearheaded the anti-Tehri Dam movement from the 1980s to early 2004. He was one of the early environmentalists of India, and later he and others associated with the Chipko movement started taking up wider environmental issues, such as being opposed to large dams.
Sunderlal Bahuguna was born in the village Maroda near Tehri, Uttarakhand, on 9 January 1927. Early on, he fought against untouchability and later started organising hill women in his anti-liquor drive from 1965 to 1970. He started social activities at the age of thirteen, under the guidance of Shri Dev Suman, who was a nationalist spreading a message of non-violence, and he was with the Congress Party of Uttar Pradesh at the time of Independence. Bahuguna also mobilised people against colonial rule before 1947. He adopted Gandhian principles in his life and married his wife Vimla with the condition that they would live among rural people and establish ashram in village. Inspired by Gandhi, he walked through Himalayan forests and hills, covering more than 4,700 kilometres on foot and observed the damage done by mega developmental projects on the fragile eco-system of the Himalayas and subsequent degradation of social life in villages.