Bishnoi community

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People from the Bishnoi community are protesting against the “widespread” felling of Khejri trees for setting up solar power plants in Rajasthan.

About the Bishnoi community:

  • The Bishnois belong to a Hindu religious sect found in the Western Thar Desert and some northern states of India. 
  • They trace their origins to the teachings of Guru Jambhesvara who was born to a Panwar Rajput family in 1451 AD at Peepasar village of Nagore district in Western Rajasthan.
  • They strictly forbid the harming of trees and animals.
  • They believe in protecting the environment and can die doing it so.
  • The person of this community are inspired and gets inspiration from Amrita Devi, a Bishnoi woman who was killed in 1730 while trying to protect a grove of khejri trees.

Key facts about the Khejri tree

  • It is considered a sacred tree in Rajasthan.
  • It is also called jant or janti in areas like Alwar, Sikar, Jhunjhunu,
  • Significance:
    • It is a nitrogen-fixing tree which enhances the fertility of the soil.
    • The fruit is used to make the very popular local dish ‘Sangri’
    • The bark of this tress is used medicinally for a range of ailments.
    • It plays a vital role in preserving the ecosystem of arid and semi-arid areas, mainly in the Thar Desert. 
    • The leaves have high nutritive value and are locally called ‘loong


Q1) What is Nitrogen fixation?

Nitrogen fixation is the process by which atmospheric nitrogen gas (N2) is converted into a form that can be used by living organisms, such as plants, as a nutrient.

Source: Bishnois raise concern over felling of Khejri trees