“If economy and ecology doesn’t go together, the ecology will go to hell,” said Sadhguru of Isha Foundation ahead of launch of a rally under ‘Cauvery Calling’ — an ongoing campaign to revitalise the Cauvery river in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka through a massive plantation exercise and bringing farmers on board for switching over to agro-forestry.
“Land is in the hands of farmers. Unless you make it a lucrative process for them, there is really no solution,” said Sadhguru while noting that he has been “officiating a marriage between economy and ecology” through people’s support.
During the rally, Sadhguru himself will ride a motorbike along with 25 other riders across the entire length of the river Cauvery. The rally will be flagged off at Talacauvery in Karnataka on September 3 and go all the way to Thiruvarur and culminate in Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu on September 18.
The idea is to raise awareness about urgency to revitalise the forest-fed river Cauvery. There will be several large scale public events at major cities and nearly a thousand of farmer engagement programmes along the way.
This will be followed by action on the ground by supporting farmers to plant 242 crore trees in next 12 years, and thereby touch the lives of over 84 million people in Cauvery Basin .
Underlining that merely planting trees by individuals, institutions or government is not a solution, Sadhguru said, “Not that this has no effect. But, this is not a solution. It’s like for cancer you put a band aid...There is huge population pressure on land. If you just talk about saving the world, saving the rivers, it’s not going to work.” He, therefore, emphasised on involving farmers and make them part of the solution where farmers can get benefited by earning more and in the process help the ecology of the Cauvery Basin thrive.
The Isha Foundation has, during the ongoing ‘Cauvery Calling’ campaign, been asking farmers to convert at least onethird of their farmland into agro-forestry, which will not only revitalise the river and groundwater and restore soil health, but will also enhance their income 3-8 times in 5-7 years.