BENGALURU: If every person contributed Rs 42, it will cover the cost of saplings for nearly five million farmers, in an initiative to introduce agro-forestry along the Cauvery river.
As part of the Rally for Rivers, an initiative to revive depleting rivers across the country, Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, founder of Isha Foundation, on Saturday, launched the ‘Cauvery Calling’ initiative in Karnataka.
Former Supreme Court judge Justice Arijit Pasayat, former heads of ISRO Kiran Kumar and Dr Radhakrishnan, BIOCON founder Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, retired IAS office Praversh Sharma and head of WWF India Ravi Singh were among the board members present for the launch at a private hotel.
“If you see the Cauvery in September-October, it’s only 30 per cent of what it used to be 50 years ago,” said Vasudev, adding that up to 5 km of water dried up every year. He said that the water crisis had only turned worse over the past three decades in the rural areas and is only being noticed now with the cities drying up.
“Thirty per cent of soil is labelled as distressed soil. In 25 years, we might no be able to grow the food we need in the country,” he said.
He said that the country was headed to a food crisis. He said that the solution was agro-forestry.
“We are raising funds for saplings so that farmers don’t need to pay for them,” he said.
A report of on-ground suggestions has been submitted to the state government.