I interviewed world renowned eco-activist, feminist, author, Dr Vandana Shiva on December 4th at 10 am near Gare Centrale in Paris. Dr Shiva is the director of the NGO Navyanda, a seed saving organization in India. She discussed and explained the complementarity of her PhD in quantum physics on the topic of inseparability in nature, with the time spent with communities of women in the tribal forests of the Himalayas. Meeting with Dr Shiva was one of the most inspiring moments of my life. Dr Shiva advocates for food sovereignty, agricultural biodiversity, organic agriculture, water rights, and ecological justice.
I asked Dr Shiva to talk about the Chipko movement and how she became engaged in it. Her response was the following:
I was born in the Himalayas, I grew up in the forest of the Himalayas. In the early 70s, I saw the streams starting to disappear. Fortunately, at that time village women rose spontaneously to say we are not going to let our forest be destroyed they are our mothers, they protect us, they are the source of our food, fuel, our water, we will hug the trees and they will have to kill us before destroying our forest. The action of hugging is Chipko and that is really my other university.
I was deeply moved by Dr Shivas powerful spirit, profound humanity, warmth, her incredible knowledge and wisdom. She looked straight into my eyes during the entirety of the interview.