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Beloved Bharat

Press Release
08/31/2017

Beloved Bharat

Sadhguru shares his vision for Bharat after seventy years of Independence. He cautions that all the achievements of the nation could go waste if we fail to “protect and revitalize our soil and water.” Sadhguru also updates us on his latest travels and upcoming events, including the Rally for Rivers across the country.

Beloved Bharat

Seventy years of Independence. As a nation, we have done many wonderful things, and many things have been left undone. India has stood up as a great democracy in the Comity of Nations. The nation has moved in leaps on an exciting journey from the shambles of partition and being looted hollow by the colonial forces. But the pain of not being able to take all citizens ahead, and many challenges of corruption and tensions of neighborly sort still hound the nation.

In the last seventy years, in Science, Space Technology, Defense, Education, Women’s Rights, and Life Expectancy, we have truly moved mountains but been unable to take our farmers out of poverty. Of all the achievements of this ancient nation reinvented by the colonial forces, the most significant achievement is that our farmers, with minimal infrastructure, have been providing food for our one billion people. But this could be taken away if we don’t protect and revitalize our soil and water. Particularly our Rivers need urgent and scientific approach. This most ancient nation of all has immense possibilities. To realize the potential of our nation, the foremost aspect is to protect and nourish our soil and water. These are not inanimate substances but life making material. Let there be a resolute way of addressing this and seek the wellbeing of all.

Securing India’s Food and Water Security

Though India is taking great leaps forward in certain areas of technology and enterprise, Sadhguru explains that disaster is looming in the form of depleting water resources and soil. While many already face starvation, if we fail to set our priorities straight, more will surely follow.

Sadhguru: There are many scientific achievements and great enterprises being built in the country today. But among all these things, one of the greatest achievements is that our farmers – without any technology or infrastructure – are still managing to feed 1.3 billon people.

Unfortunately, the farmer who provides us with food has children who are starving, and he wants to take his own life. I hang my head in shame about this. There are many reasons why this happening, but one of the biggest problems is the depletion of water resources and soil. We were able to provide nourishment to this country’s population because we had the most fabulous soil. We could grow what we wanted for twelve months of the year. But this soil is depleting very rapidly today.

Whatever crop you grow – let’s say ten tons of sugarcane – essentially, you have removed ten tons of soil. It has to be put back in some form. But nothing is going back because the only way soil can replenish itself is through green cover and animal droppings. But all our trees are gone. On top of that, we are slaughtering our animals and exporting them to other countries. Without animals and trees, there is no way you can maintain soil quality. We have seriously neglected this in the last few decades and 25% of the country is headed towards becoming a desert.

Rally for Rivers – Save India’s Lifelines YouTube Video

Another aspect is that our rivers are depleting at such a rate that what have been perennial sources of water for millions of years, are becoming seasonal in one generation. The Kaveri already does not reach the ocean for almost three months in a year and two states are at war for this depleting river. The Krishna does not reach the ocean for almost four to five months. This is happening everywhere in the country. We can handle all other uncertainties, but if we run out of water and the ability to generate food for our population, we will have a serious calamity on our hands.

The simplest solution for this is that for every river, we create a minimum of one kilometer tree cover on both sides. This ensures that when it rains, soil will hold moisture and replenish the rivers gradually throughout the year. People think because of water there are trees. No, because of trees there is water. So, where it is government land, forest trees must come up. Where it is farmers’ lands, it is not fair to ask a poor farmer who is struggling for his livelihood to save the planet. So we have an economic plan – with a significant ecological consequence – where farmers’ incomes can be more than doubled in five to six years if we do this in an organized way. All farmers along the riversides should get five years of subsidy to shift from regular crops to horticulture and tree-based farming. If we create trees and there are animals and animal waste, the soil and rivers will be replenished.

Towards making this happen, we are preparing a policy recommendation to offer to the government. And we are organizing the Rally for Rivers campaign where from September 3 to October 2, I will personally drive from Kanyakumari to Himalayas, to create awareness in the country that our rivers are dying. I am covering 16 states with major events along the way. Several Chief Ministers and Governors have confirmed their participation. At Delhi, we will present the policy recommendation to the government.

I beseech all of you to participate in this in whatever way you can. When I say all of you, I mean everyone who consumes water. To have our rivers flowing, to leave this land rich and well is the best gift we can offer to the future generations.

Stand Up for Our Future

With just one more day to go until the “Rally for Rivers Day” on 1 September, Sadhguru calls on everyone nationwide to take a stand and demonstrate one’s responsibility and support in a simple yet powerful manner. He explains how we can participate, and why this is vital to achieve a long-term solution. Sadhguru clarifies that “This Rally is not about me or Isha Foundation – this is about the nation and the future of our children.” He also maps out the first few stops on the route after the Rally kicks off in Coimbatore on 3 September. Make sure not to miss it when Sadhguru is coming to your city!

With over 1.3 billion people, if our soil and water fail, it will be a horrible disaster. We want to ensure that doesn’t happen

As many of you know, the Rally for Rivers is coming up from 3 September onwards. Why this Rally? Why do we need to create broad-based awareness and support? India’s rivers, water bodies, and soil are depleting in a much more serious manner than most people realize or are willing to admit. This is not alarmist talk – there is strong scientific evidence. There are simple things that could have been done to prevent this, but that hasn’t happened. At this point, we cannot leave it in the hands of individuals anymore. We are driving towards a mandatory, enforceable policy.

Rivers are a concurrent subject between the central government and the state governments. The Center is only able to pass an overarching policy, but it’s the states that have to take it up and implement it. That is why we are going on this Rally through sixteen states. I’m personally driving from Coimbatore to Kanyakumari, and from there up to the Himalayas. This is to galvanize support from the states. Fortunately, all the Chief Ministers confirmed their attendance. In every city we go to, there will be a big event. And before that, we need to raise large-scale awareness across the country.

On 1 September, the media campaign will start on television channels, newspapers, everywhere. Almost the entire English media and Hindi media, as well as some Tamil media, have come together to voluntarily support the campaign, without payment. Major media houses are full-on creating awareness, running ads, and making their own productions. It’s been an incredible run of support from all directions. You may have seen all the tweets from film stars, cricketers, and so many other people. From school children to celebrities, from simple farmers to the tallest leaders in the country, everyone has been supporting this campaign absolutely. This Rally is not about me or Isha Foundation – this is about the nation and the future of our children.

As part of the campaign, on 1 September, between 08:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m., hundreds of thousands of people across the country, in all the major cities and towns, will just stand with a simple, blue “Rally for Rivers” placard. Make sure all of you have one. Each one of you should stand by yourself in one of the popular places and main streets of your city. Leave at least fifty feet space to the next person. Don’t stand in groups, because that would be seen as a protest. This is not an agitation. An agitation is always against someone. No one is against this, because everyone consumes water.

Why do we need this campaign, these missed calls, this public support, and this Rally? If a government wants to pass a policy like this, it means heavy financial outlays and many lifestyle changes. Many things have to be done that are not election-winning policies. It is time the people of India make a clear statement to the government that we have matured. We are not expecting freebies but a long-term policy for the wellbeing of the nation. If we want this policy to succeed, we have to aggressively pursue it. It will take eight to fifteen years to fully implement it. If we do this, in twenty to twenty-five years, the flow of the rivers will increase by about twenty to twenty-five percent.

We need the government to make a long-term policy. Since the lifetime of a democratically elected government in India is five years, generally, in whatever they do, they are thinking about the next election. It is important that the people of India make a clear statement: “We want you to take long-term steps to save our future, and we are willing to go through some pain in the process.” We are looking at anywhere between ten to thirty crore missed phone calls, for the leaders at the top to see the massive support for this policy, so that they approach it with the confidence that people are with them. We will not settle for small fixes here and there. We are aiming for a comprehensive, long-term solution for the wellbeing of the country.

This is vital for our survival. The soil condition and the water situation in the country are abysmal. With over 1.3 billion people, if our soil and water fail, it will be a horrible disaster. We want to ensure that doesn’t happen. I want you to demonstrate your responsibility. On 1 September, hold up your placard and get people to join – the more, the better. Let’s stand up for our Rivers and the future of our country.

Let us make it happen.

Love & Grace,

Sadhguru revs up to #RallyForRivers!

 

Rally for India’s Rivers

Starting on September 3rd

Pledge Your Support with a Missed Call to

011-91-80009 80009

 

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