Bishnoi saves deer, deers in bishnoi village, bishnoi saves wildlife

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Bishnois willing to sacrifice

Bishnois lived with trees and wild animals in the Thar Desert with complete harmony for centuries and have been fiercely protecting the trees & wild life in their areas to follow the teachings of their Guru Jambheshwar Ji.

This was not an easy task especially in the desert where water was a luxury commodity and trees could fetch some extra revenue but for Bishnois protection of wild life was a Dharma (religion).

They kept 2 principles (out of 29) of Bishnoism, “Jeev Daya Palni”(be compassionate to all living beings) and “Runkh Leelo Nahi Ghave” (Not to cut green trees) always on top priority.

Bishnois appealed to rulers/kings to make rules for banning tree cutting and hunting in their areas and fought cases in the courts to ensure the rules are followed by all.

But in the arid desert facing continuous draughts, the trees and wild animals were always temptations for others.

Time to time their faith was tested by rulers, poachers and others but Bishnois always protected the wild life even at the cost of their lives by braving the bullets.

Scores of Bishnois have sacrificed their lives for protecting wild life in Rajasthan.

Bishnois are extremely aggressive about their pacifism. Foremost in the community's pantheon of heroes are men and women who gave up their lives trying to save trees and animals.

In 1604 AD, two Bishnoi women from Ramsari village, Karma and Gora, sacrificed their lives in an effort to prevent the felling of Khejri (Prosopis cineraria) trees.

In 1730 AD, 363 Bishnois lead by a woman “Amrita Devi Bishnoi” sacrificed their lives to oppose cutting of Khejari trees in Khejarli village of Jodhpur. She hugged the tree and said, “"Sir Santhe Runkh Rahe to bhi sasto jan" mean if trees can be saved at the cost of our heads then it is a good deal for us.

These trees were being cut at the order of then ruler Raja Abhay Singh s/o Maharaja Ajit Singh for firewood to burn lime stone to construct his palace.

Name of all the martyrs with gotra(sub-cast) & village name are listed in our other web site :-
Bishnoi Martyrs of Khejarli Saka
On 12.08.2000, Ganga Ram Bishnoi (35 yr) s/o Phoosa Ram Isharwal village Cheri/Chirai (Ekal Khori), teh. Osian,Dist. Jodhpur, sacrificed his life while chasing poachers Pepa Ram & others to save deer(chinkara). He is survived by wife, two sons and three daughters.

Ganga Ram Bishnoi was the sole supporter for his family.

Honorable President of India awarded him “Shauraya Ckakra Award” on 24.08.2001.

Government of India, Ministry of Environment & Forests conferred him (posthumously) with national award “Amrita Devi Bishnoi Wild Life Protection Award”. His wife Kishni Devi Bishnoi received this award from then Union Environment & Forest Minister T.R. Baalu on 29.05.2003.

Government of India (wild life board) awarded him, “Prani Mittar”(Friend of Animal) Award.

Rajasthan government awarded him (posthumously) “Amrita Devi Bishnoi Samiriti Award” in 2001.

Government of Maharashtra and other NGOs also awarded him.

On 03.10.1996, Nihal Chand Bishnoi(30 yr) s/o Hanuman ram Dharnia, village Sawantsar, teh- Dungargarh, Dist- Churu, sacrificed his life while chasing poaches to save life of black bucks.

Rajasthan government awarded him (posthumously) with, “Amrita Devi Samiriti Award” on 28.08.1997. Government of India awarded him President’s “Shaurua Chakra” award on 22.09.1999.

A film named, “Willing to Sacrifice” based on his sacrifice won the award for Best Environmental Film in 5th International Festivals of Films, held at Bratislava, Slovakia. This can be watched at the link

On 17.12.1977, Birbal Ram Bishnoi s/o Bira Ram Khichar village Lohawat, Dist. Jodhpur, sacrificed his life to save deer from poachers.

On 17.05.1963, Bhinya Ram Bishnoi(25yr) s/o Lala Ram Godara, village Banar, Dist. Jodhpur, sacrificed his life while saving life of black bucks from poachers.

In year 1950 (shukal14th of kartik month, 2007 VS), two brothers Hori Singh Bishnoi (23yr) & Ram Gopal Singh Bishnoi (21yr) s/o Murli Singh chauhan, village Mirpur Mohan Chak, Dist. Moradabad sacrificed their life in fight with fishers to save fishes from village pond. In memory of these brothers, a mela(gathering) is held every year in the village.

On 03.03.1948, Arjun Ram Bishnoi(36 yr) s/o Prabhu Ram Panwar, village- Bhagtasni, Dist. Jodhpur, sacrificed his life while saving deer from poachers.

On 12.04.1947, two brothers Chimna Ram Bishnoi(35 yr) & Pratap Ram Bishnoi(29 yr) s/o Gorkha Ram Ji Bishnoi, village Barasan, Dist. Barmer sacrificed their life while saving deer from poachers.

In year 1543-1616, Rudu Bishnoi, Damu Bishnoi and others in village Kudsu, Teh. Nokha, Dist. Bikaner sacrificed their life during fight with Sahib Das Rajput, Kalyan Mal Rajput etc. on the issue of That(shelter house) to save life of male goats.

On ……(date not known) , Chima Ram Bishnoi s/o Hardan Godara, village- Rahicha Kallan, Dist. Jodhpur, sacrificed his life while saving deer at ORAN(sacred mangroves) of his village from poachers.

Bishnois tradition of sacrificing their life to protect wild life continues.

On October, 1, 1998 Bollywood hero Salman Khan killed black buck in the night in Kankani Village in Jodhpur but Poonam Chand Bishnois saw him, noted his vehicle number and informed to Bhanwar Lal Bishnoi Forest Ranger. A case was booked against Salman and he got arrested. Many temptations and threats were made to withdraw the case but honest Bishnoi witnesses and lawyers held their Dharma above all. Salman Khan spent few days in jail and then come out on bail. His case is still pending in the court.

A film named, “Willing to Sacrifice” was shown in 5th International Festivals of Films, TV & Video Programs ENVIRON 99 held at Bratislava, Slovakia and won the award for Best Environmental Film. This film can be watched at the following link

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