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Hugging Trees -- Mirabehn and the demolition of forests in the Himalayas

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Published on Jul 24, 2010

The documentary Bäume umarmen -- Mirabehn und die Waldzerstörung im Himalya (Hugging Trees -- Mirabehn and the demolition of forests in the Himalayas) was an extraordinary TV production broadcasted by ORF (Austrian TV) in 1985.

It shows the deforestation in the Himalya region and its terrible results for its inhabitants and the environment. Over the past decades whole forests were cut and with the monsoon rains the soil has been washed away and moved to the rivers. This resulted in floods which destroyed tress and land on the river banks. The whole eco-system is changing in that region. Herbert Tichy, prominent Austrian geologist and book author, visited India and Nepal since the 1930's regularly and witnessed the terrible erosion taking place. He was also a close friend of Mirabehn who spent the last years of her life in Wienerwald, Austria, writing a biography on Beethoven. The daughter of an British admiral joined Mahatma Gandhi in the 1920's and remained his close associate until his death in 1948. Later on she started her own community in the Himalaya region and focussed on the protection of environment which inspired Chandiprasad Bhatt and Sunderlal Bahuguna to re-develop the Chipko (Hugging tree) movement, which was one of the major forces for environmental issues in India in the 1980's and 1990's.

Mirabehn died in 1982 in Austria. In 1985 her ashes were handed over to river Ganges at Hardwar in a moving ceremony by Swami Chitanand Saraswati (the mentor of Sunderlal Bahuguna), Herbert Tichy, Sunderlal Bahuguna und the loyal assistant of Mirabehn, Brahmachari Datta.

The 55 minutes production is based on Herbert Tichy's book Was ich von Asien gelernt habe (What I have learned from Asia). The documentary has been directed by Götz Hagmüller and Ludmilla Hungerhuber. Himalaya expert Ludmilla Tüting and Peter Rühe, founder director of GandhiServe Foundation, Berlin/Germany -- http://pr.gandhiserve.org -- acted as advisers.

Courtesy: GandhiServe Foundation - Mahatma Gandhi Research and Media Service - http://www.gandhiserve.org

For personal, institutional and commercial use contact: media@gandhimail.org

Digital Mastering: Peter Rühe - http://peter.ruehe.net --- This video is completed by the 692-pages, A3-size photo biography “MAHATMA – Gandhi’s Life in Colour” – www.mahatmabook.com

Here you can see the Father of the Indian Nation as you have never seen him before – unless you knew him personally!

The latest news about this definite photo biography on the Apostle of Nonviolence can be found on its Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/colourfulgandhi

Check it out – you won’t regret it!

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