The renowned yogi and mystique, and founder of the Isha Foundation, Sadhguru, is on a mission. From September 3, he was on a motorcycle rally from Talacauvery, the origin of the Cauvery river in Karnataka, and culminated in Chennai. The aim of the 'Cauvery Calling' rally was to seek public support for the conservation of the Cauvery river. The focus is on motivating farmers to switch from water-intensive crops to agroforestry, which is the practice of growing fruit or timber trees. With regards to this, the Isha Foundation is planning to plant 242 crore saplings.
After flagging off his campaign 'Cauvery calling' on a 2-week journey on a motorbike, covering a distance of over 3000 km, Sadhguru joined Republic TV for an exclusive interview.
Sadhguru elaborated on the efforts that the Isha Foundation was taking to encourage the farmers to be involved. He said farmers were needed not only for the purposes of agroforestry but also to plant the saplings and manage nurseries.
Elaborating on the need for farmers to be involved in sapling growing and nurseries, Sadhguru said, "We have ourselves set up 35 nurseries which have been operating for over a decade. Now, we are planning to set up another 350 nurseries.
"Apart from this, we want to train farmers to raise nurseries because nursery raising itself can become a very lucrative business to the farmer," Sadhguru said.
Furthermore, he went on to add, "But, when the farmer raises the saplings, we must have an economic power to buy back the saplings, and distribute them for agroforestry. That is why the fund-raising. The last time I saw the counter of saplings, it was 4 crore, 27 lacs. These contributions have come from 112 countries across the world."
Furthermore, in order to spread awareness and educate people on the issue, the Isha Foundation is taking unprecedented steps.
Speaking to Republic TV, Sadhguru said, "We have organized 34 vans which will be going around. They have covered over 7000 villages as of now in the Cauvery basin. These vans have been fitted with LED screens as to how to grow agroforestry, what are the mechanics of it, what are the economics of it, how they can benefit, what are the different formats in which they can do this. This education is happening. Even for sapling raising, raising a healthy sapling is something that needs to happen. Because commercial farms we cannot buy because they are putting a lot of urea and growing it. Their survival rate will be very very poor. So we are growing them organically, that makes a difference."
Adopting unconventional means to make the mission a success, Sadhguru said, "There are beggars in Chennai who are earning 3.5-4 lacs per year. Our volunteers are going about, enrolling them telling them that they must contribute because people's contribution is making their life. They must contribute one sapling per week."