- Per capita water availability in India has come down 75% since 1947
- 25% of India is turning into a desert
- By 2030 we will have only 50% of the water we need for our survival
If you live in India and consume water, this is a problem.
India’s rivers are drying up – perennial rivers are turning seasonal and many tributaries have vanished.
- Godavari went dry at its source in 2016
- According to the World Wildlife Fund, Ganga is one of the most endangered rivers
- Kaveri and Narmada have shrunk by 40-60%
What is Rally for Rivers?
A campaign spearheaded by the Isha Foundation to raise awareness about India’s depleting rivers. It was officially announced on 9 July. It involves:
- Raising awareness of the problem across institutions and communities within India
- Highlighting solutions to stabilise and rejuvenate our rivers through a “River Rejuvenation Policy Recommendation” to be submitted to the Government of India
- Gathering and presenting public support for the Recommendation to the government – support will be gathered in the form of missed calls received to the number 80009 80009 (see more information below on ‘what you can do’)
- Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, founder of the Isha Foundation will be driving across India, from Kanyakumai to the Himalayas starting 3 September, until 2 October, conducting over 20 events in major cities. Government leaders and celebrities will be participating in various legs of the journey.
What solutions does the River Rejuvenation Policy Recommendation propose?
The Recommendation focuses on the planting of more trees and protecting river banks. As per the recommendation, trees must be planted for a width of one kilometre on either side of every major river:
- Native trees to be grown on government-owned land
- Fruit trees to be grown organically on private lands (and no ploughing). Farmers will need to be subsidised for the first few years to be incentivised to grow fruit tress.
Trees help to:
- protect the top soil
- normalise rainfall since they store carbon
- keep water flowing as tree roots make the soil porous increasing the soil’s ability to hold water which is then released slowly (ensuring rivers can flow even in the dry season)
What you can do
- Give a missed call to +91 80009 80009. This registers like a signature on a petition.
- Share this information with others.
- Commit to consuming ~30% fruits in your diet so that farmers are incentivised to grow fruit tress (this will also be beneficial for your own health).
- Learn more about our rivers, the foundations and one of the most significant features of the Indian civilisation since ancient times. Read more on the Isha Foundation website and check out some of the articles on Indian rivers on LWP: