The 31st Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration for the years 2017 and 2018 will be awarded to the pioneer of the Chipko Movement Chandi Prasad Bhatt for his services in promoting and preserving the national integration.
The award consists of a citation and cash of Rs 10 lakh to be given to the awardee by Congress president Sonia Gandhi on October 31, the death anniversary of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
The 85-year-old Bhatt is an eminent Gandhian environmentalist and was associated with the Chipko Movement in Uttarakhand. He has been awarded for his continuous efforts for the upliftment of poor and downtrodden people of all communities in the last six decades.
The Indian National Congress had proposed the national integration award in its centenary year to give recognition to outstanding contributions to this cause by an individual or an institution.
Bhatt is a Ramon Magsaysay award recipient for the year 1982. He was also awarded Padma Shri in 1986, the Padma Bhushan in 2005 and the Gandhi Peace prize in 2013.
His published works include Pratikar Ke Ankur (Hindi), Adhure Gyan Aur Kalpanik Vishwas Par Himalaya Se Cherkhani Ghatak (Hindi), Future of Large Projects in the Himalaya, Eco-system of Central Himalaya and Chipko Experience.