'Cauvery Calling" campaign launched to highlight plight of
Bengaluru, July 20 (PTI) Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, Founder,
Isha Foundation and architect of the nation-wide Rally for
Rivers (RfR.) movement, Saturday launched "Cauvery Calling," a
campaign to highlight the plight of the river Cauvery, along
with efforts to "revitalize it".
The campaign will be followed by the launch of the
Cauvery river revitalization project,which will bring together
farmers and riverine communities of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu
in a collaborative bid to revive the "dying river" which flows
through both states, those associated with the movement said.
Ahead of the launch, the Rally for Rivers (RfR) Board
held its third board meeting here.
The RfR Board includes Justice Arijit Pasayat, former
Supreme Court judge, Dr. AS Kiran Kumar and Radhakrishnan
former Heads of ISRO, B Muthuraman, former Vice Chairman of
Tata Steel, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Founder, Biocon,among others.
Speaking to reporters, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, pointing at
water wars between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu over the Cauvery
issue, stressed on the need for "reviving" and "revitalizing"
the river.
"There is a strong connect between ecology and the
economy and this connect is what we need to rebuild...if we
don't rescue our rivers and revitalize them, everything is
going to be lost," she added.
This will be the second river revitalization project
launched by RfR after its pilot to revitalize the Waghari
river in Yavatmai district in Maharashtra.
"Cauvery Calling" will enlist community and farmer
support to convert in a minimum width of a kilometer along the
Cauvery river banks, into agroforestry lands.
Farmers will be educated on the highly lucrative
agroforestry model, those associated with the movement said.
Noting that water crisis has always been developing in
rural India, Sadhguru said people have ignored it. But now
that it has come to urban India and cities are running out of
water, people are thinking crisis happened suddenly.
"The crisis did not happen suddenly, it has been evolving
for the last 30 years," he said, adding that he has been
thinking about "Cauvery Calling" for the last 25 years, but
did not find the necessary support, as people come forward
only when there is a crisis.
'Cauvery Calling' will be implemented jointly with the
Karnataka government, which signed an MoU with Isha Foundation
to plant 25 crore saplings in the Cauvery basin to augment
water flow at source and restore Cauvery's perennial flow.
Cauvery is estimated to have depleted 40 per cent from
historic flows, RfR said.
Drastic depletion in flow has resulted in the waters not
reaching the ocean many months in the year and causing severe
agricultural distress in both Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, which
are currently in the grip of an acute water crisis.
It is estimated that 87 per cent of tree cover has been
removed in the Cauvery basin, gravely affecting soil health
and groundwater levels impacting food and water security for
millions of people, it said.
Sadguru has even planned a bike rally along the stretch
of Cauvery in both Karnataka and Tamil Nadu to spread
RfR is also requesting contribution of at least Rs 42
from people for saplings. PTI KSU RA APR

(This story has not been edited by THE WEEK and is auto-generated from a PTI feed.)