Bengaluru: Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev founder of ISHA Foundation is on a mission to save rivers and rejuvenate them. In order to garner mass support and make his countrymen aware that the bomb has already started ticking, Sadhguru with his nationwide campaign titled 'Rally for Rivers-India's Lifeline' will travel across 16 states, creating awareness and garnering support in the form of missed calls.
He is aiming to have on record at least 30 crore missed calls before his campaign starting from his ashram in Coimbatore on September 3 culminates in New Delhi on October 2, at a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi where he will explain the grim situation prevailing over the nation.
Ask him what will happen to the state of rivers in another 10 or 15 years, and the spiritual guru who was in the city on Saturday says, "if no action is taken to rejuvenate lakes, we will only be able to see deserts right from God's own Country Kerala to India's capital New Delhi. "
"Our civilisations flourished on the banks of rivers. Rivers are the lifeline of our country. But if you look at the state of perennial rivers like the Cauvery, Krishna or Narmada they are at dangerous levels of depletion. In a matter of another 50 years, most of the perennial rivers will be seasonal and will no longer be perennial" the Sadhguru warned.
Explaining the reasons behind the depletion of rivers, the Sadhguru said "Owing to pressure of population explosion and rapid development, many small rivers have already vanished. It will be surprising and shocking that we have 75 percent less water per person than in 1947, and almost 25 percent of India, turning into a desert."
When asked to explain his campaign and the ways in which he plans to save rivers, he went on "A comprehensive plan to rejuvenate rivers is the need of the hour. Tree cover for a minimum of 1 km has to be maintained on either side of the entire stretch of the river. If the land belongs to government, then it should be converted into native forests and if the land is private, horticulture should be taken up."
Even before we could ask him how this will help revive rivers, he said "Rivers in our country ar e forest fed. Trees help precipitation and because of vegetation they are held and drop by drop become rivulets, then develop into streams and ultimately become rivers."
For all these a policy change is needed and government's support in very crucial. Farmers owning land next to rivers should be educated to take up horticulture. River rejuvenation is a slow process and will not happen overnight, he said and lamented that there hasn't been that much satisfactory response to his campaign except for states like Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh. He is confident of impressing upon the governments both at centre and state by making this a mass movement.