Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, the founder of Isha Foundation, flagged off an awareness rally under the ‘Cauvery Calling’ movement on Thursday (1 August) from the location of the famed Adiyogi, the 112 ft bust of Shiva at the foothills of the Velliangiri Mountains in Tamil Nadu.
The rally consisted of a convoy of vehicles that will cover 28 districts of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka in the Cauvery basin to raise awareness about the Cauvery Calling movement.
Speaking about the need for a movement like Cauvery Calling, Sadhguru said that it is “a shameful matter” that so many farmers have committed suicide in the country in the last 15 years.
The recently launched Cauvery Calling movement offers a fresh approach to farming with agroforestry model that has proven economically lucrative and environmentally sustainable. Agroforestry not only enriches soil and enhances groundwater levels, restoring the river flow, but also contributes to farmers’ income within a 5 to 8-year period.
Cauvery Calling will enable farmers to plant 242 crore trees in the Cauvery basin with an economically attractive proposition in order to make it sustainable and increase its acceptability in the farmer community.
Sadhguru said that it will be of great benefit if the government provides subsidy for 4 years to farmers who shift to agroforestry adding that the Isha Foundation had approached the Tamil Nadu and Karnataka governments in this regard. He added that traditionally, farmers in India always had 20 to 30 trees on their fields irrespective of the type of farming.
The vehicle rally will create awareness about Cauvery Calling among villages in the Cauvery basin. The month-long rally is expected to reach thousands of farmers in the Cauvery belt of the two states. A combination of video clips, personal interactions and printed literature will create mass awareness about the ecologic and economic benefits of agroforestry.
Events are to be organised at Taluk headquarters in villages along the route. Field officers from Project Greenhands as well as agroforestry experts will participate in these events to share their knowledge, experiences and success stories of farmers who have adopted the agroforestry model.
Sadhguru will also lead a bike rally from Talacauvery, the birthplace of the river, in September. Spread over two weeks, Sadhguru will ride with a group of bikers from Talacauvery to Tiruvarur in Tamil Nadu where Cauvery meets the ocean.
Vanathi Srinivasan, General Secretary, Tamil Nadu Bharatiya Janata Party; E R Eeswaran, General Secretary, Kongunadu Makkal Desiya Katchi; Dr Krishnaswamy, Founder, Puthiya Tamilagam; and actor Radhika Sarathkumar also participated in the event.
About Cauvery Calling
Sadhguru launched the Cauvery Calling movement to revitalise river Cauvery which has shrunk over 40 per cent in the last seven decades. The Cauvery basin is the food bowl of the southern peninsula contributing 40 per cent of food grain to Tamil Nadu and 26 per cent to Karnataka. It is also one of the primary sources of drinking water and irrigation in both states. The alarming rate of its depletion has led to severe agrarian crisis in both states threatening food and water security of millions of people.