Vandana Shiva Everything I Need To Know I Learned In the Forest

By | January 5, 2019

Vandana Shiva’s Everything I Need To Know I Learned In the Forest takes us closer to her realization about our Environment. This is one of the lessons for 2nd PUC Students. Below are the notes in Questions and Answers form.

1 – Trace the childhood experiences that shaped the author’s interest in ecology.

Answer – Vandana Shiva’s father was a forest conservator and her mother was a farmer. She learnt ecology from the Himalayan forest and ecosystems. Her mother composed songs and poems about trees, forests and forest civilizations.

2 – How does the scarcity of water, fodder and fuel affect women?

Answer – Women provide water, fodder and fuel for their family by collecting them from the near by forests. If forests near their villages are destroyed, they will have to a long way to collect firewood and also fodder for their cattle and food for their families. Carrying heavy loads from far places is a physical strain for them. They will become tired and their health will be affected.

3 – What features of the ‘Chipko’ movement does the author highlight?

Answer – I Author tells us that only women knew the real value of forests. They were not merely timber, but provide water, food and fuel for their homes. They declared to hug trees to prevent them from being cut down, even if the loggers had to kill them. Chipko volunteers took out padayatras to spread awareness. In one such Chipko Action in 1977, a women named Bachini Devi from the village of Adwans resented her husband, a contractor from cutting down trees. She and other volunteers held lighted lamps in broad day light and told the authorities that they were blind to the destruction of forests and she would teach them to protect forests. They sang a song about the usefulness of forests.

4 – The real value of forests for women was

Answer – B. Source of basic need.

5 – List the activities that she undertook after her involvement with ‘Chipko’ movement.

  • She spent every cation doing padayatras documenting the deforestation and the work done by Chipko volunteers.
  • She spread the message of Chipko movement
  • She started ‘Navadhnya Farm’ in 1994 at Doon valley for conservation, demonstration and training farmers.
  • She set up 100 community seed banks.
  • She helped farmers to convert to organic farming.

6 – The conservation of biodiversity in the agriculture leads toIncrease in quantity of food production.

Answer – C. More Quality food and higher nutrition.

7 – Why is it important to change the fossil fule and chemical based mono-culture?

Answer – The transition to organic farming will promote bio-diversity more quantity and nutritious food can be grown. It will also increase soil fertility, stop environmental pollution and wastage of natural resources like water, manure, minerals and fuel.

8 – What prompted the UN to initiate a discussion on the rights of Mother Earth?

Answer – The UN General Assembly was inspired by the constitution of equator which recognised the ‘Rights to Nature’ and ‘Universal Declaration of the rights of Mother Earth’ initiated by Bolivia.

9 – The conference organized by UN General Assembly aimed at transforming domination of

Answer – A. People over nature.

10 – What, according to the author, is eco-apartheid? Why is it important to end this?

Answer – Eco-apartheid means that humans consider themselves as separate from nature and damage the environment of the earth with total disregard and without thinking that is a part of biodiversity.

11 – what event in human history marked the beginning of separation of humans from nature?

Answer – Industrial Revolution marked the beginning of separation of humans from nature.

12 – How do the views of Carolyn merchant different from that of Francis Bacon?

Answer – Francis Bacon the father of modern science belief exam science and its inventions do not ‘merely exert a gentle guidance over nature’s course; they have the power to conquer and subdue her, to shake her to her foundations. By this, he implies that through science and its inventions man can control and subdue nature and take nature his hands and use it as he wishes.

Instead of treating nature as integral part of man’s life, he has started menuplating nature to produce raw materials for industries which has led to capitalism.

Carolyn Merchant points out that due to this greed and capitalism, man has destroyed his environment and contrary to the views of Bacon and other leaders of capitalism, man has realised that without protecting our environment and nature he Can’t survive. So man instead of dominating nature, has slowly changed his views and started to return to nature and nurturing earth by removing cultural constraint on nurturing the earth.

She poetically says “one does not readily slay a mother, dig into her entrails for gold or mutilated her body.” Meaning that we won’t kill a mother to steal her gold jewellery.

13 – What ideas of Tagore inspired the author to start the Earth University?

Answer – The author Vandana Shiva, was inspired by R.N. Tagore Shantiniketan, a learning centre in the midst of nature that is an open a school. Tagore always maintained that the forests were a great source of knowledge and freedom. A source of beauty and art; harmony and perfection. A forest also teaches as cooperation and sharing. So life’s lessons in the Peaceful environment of a forest will be highly beneficial.

14 – In what ways are Unity and Diversity related to each other?

Answer – Unity and Diversity are certainly related to each other. Unity in diversity is the basis of both ecological sustainability and democracy. Diversity without Unity will lead to conflict and contest; Unity without diversity leads to conflict and external control. The forest is an example of unity in diversity. We are United with nature through our relationship with nature.

Comprehension II – 2nd PUC Notes – Vandana Shiva

Vandana Shiva Everything I Need To Know I Learned In the Forest

1 – How did women led by Bachni Devi put up resistance to felling of trees? Do you think it was effective?

Answer – Bachini Devi, along with other women led a resistance against her own husband, who was a forest contractor. To show that these men were blind to the destruction of nature, they held lighted lanterns in broad daylight to open their eyes to make them realise that in destroying forests they were destroying themselves. Yes, they were successful in agitation and made the authorities realise their folly.

2 – Why is it important to promote the biodiversity intensive farming. How did the author achieve it?

Answer – the author Vandana Shiva learnt about Biodiversity in the Himalayan forests. She used this knowledge to protect biodiversity of farms. She started saving seeds. To promote biodiversity she started the ‘Navadhanya Farm’ in 1994 at Doon Valley Uttarakhand.

Through their efforts they have conserved 630 varieties of rice, 150 varieties of wheat and hundreds of other species. She also promoted organic farming in 1987. At the farn, they trained farmers and also used for demonstration and cultivation of more than 3000 varieties of rice.

Biodiversity has helped in growing more quantity and nutritious food. It has helped in achieving food security. Because of biodiversity hunger, starvation and malnutrition have been reduced and as a result human has has improved and many diseases caused by malnutrition are reduced.

3 – ‘Rights of Nature’ means

Answer – C. Preserving nature for self protection.

4 – What does the idea of the Earth University convey? How is it different from other Universities?

Answer – the earth University, Navadhanya conveys a democracy, which is the freedom for all species to evolve with the web of life, and the freedom and responsibility of humans, as members of the earth family, to recognise, protect and respect the rights of their species.

Since we all depend on the earth, earth democracy promotes human right to food and water. The Earth University stands apart from other universities because teaching does not take place in a concrete building but in the natural surroundings of the ‘Navadhanya’ where participants work with seeds, soil and the web of life.

The students are farmers, school children and other interested people. The two most popular courses are ‘A to Z of organic farming and Argo-Ecology’ and ‘Gandhi and Globalization’.


1 – ” Tagore saw unity with nature as the highest stage of human evolution”. Do you think consumerism and accumulation of wealth comes in the way of realising Tagore’s vision of human evolution?

Answer – Yes, I think consumerism and accumulation of wealth comes in the way of realising Tagor’s vision of human evolution.

2 – “The conservation of biodiversity is the answer to the food and nutrition crisis.” Discuss.

Answer – Yes, conservation of biodiversity will solve that food and nutrition crisis.

3 – “Conservation of diversity is crucial for substance of both nature and human society.” Discuss.

Answer – “Conservation of diversity”is the answer to the food and nutrition crisis”. Biodiversity conservation is very important to sustain our growing population. By conserving diversity, we can ensure the continuous supply of basic needs of living beings like food, water, shelter etc. If it is not conserved, a chain reaction of natural calamities will occur. If we go on destroying our forest, soil erosion will happened and it can causes great damage to humans, wild life and their properties.

Lack of forest cover will lead wild animals to the cities in search of food and will lead to man-animal conflict. Forest cover is important for causing range. rains bring water to nurture forest and living beings. With enough water we can grow enough food for our growing population.

Organic farming is a method to conserve biodiversity and for organic farming we need natural manure like cow dung, decomposed vegetation etc. So to get these we have to protect our cattle and the forests.

Organic farming promotes and increases in the number of livestock and free manure. By organic farming there will be less wastage of raw materials, less pollution and more nutritious food can be grown and this will increase the health of human beings and conserve our natural resources. It will promote cooperation and peaceful coexistence of human beings and all other creatures.

4 – In the light of this essay how does one synthesize wisdom of the past with the modern knowledge system?

Answer – Science and Technology and agricultural knowledge of ancient and modern times are being effectively used to conserve biodiversity. And biodiversity provides enough foods and fossils for our teeming population.

To conserve nature, every nation of this world has to start cooperating with each other and should take drastic steps to prevent curbing and destruction of natural resources like forests, wild animals and human health.

Your thoughts on this?