Living in a democracy means that we, the people, can direct the course of our country. To what extent is up to us. We can either wait for election time every five years to get our voices heard or we can also participate actively during the five years.
The Rally for Rivers campaign kicks off today offering you an opportunity to participate in the issues affecting India. The campaign is an effort to raise awareness about our depleting rivers: many perennial rivers are turning seasonal and many tributaries have vanished.
- 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
The main reason for this is lack of maintenance of rivers and the drastic reduction of tree cover especially along river banks. Moreover, the top soil in our country is eroding with the export and slaughter of animals like cows and bulls, the eroding tree cover and lack of maintenance of rivers. This is not only saddening but also worrying because one of the greatest achievements of our country has been that our poor farmers have been able to grow food for over a billion people using simple and traditional methods. If we let the state of our rivers deteriorate further, the prospect of famines will not seem very remote.
India has been a land that worshipped its rivers as life-giving mothers (see the Living Ganga). In fact the ancient name for the country was Sapt Sindhu or the land of the seven rivers. Unfortunately in recent times our relationship with rivers has been one of exploitation to the extent that we have done more damage in one generation than was done over thousands of years. We now urgently need to work for the revitalisation and rejuvenation of rivers.
The Rally for Rivers campaign involves grass-root level awareness campaigns, support of celebrities and political leaders and culminates with a policy recommendation to be presented to the government in Delhi on 2 October. Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, founder of the Isha Foundation will himself drive from Kanyakumari to the Himalayas, stopping in several towns and cities to raise awareness. The support of the people (by giving a missed call to +91 80009 80009) is essential to let the government know that the citizens back this recommendation. Read more about the issues involved and what the Rally for Rivers campaign aims to achieve.
Sadhguru talks to children about our rivers
It is a nice coincidence that this rally is kicking off on 3 September 2017 which not only happens to be Sadhguru’s birthday, but also Pradosham according to the Hindu calendar. The Pradosham falls on the 13th day of every fortnight of the calendar and is believed to be an important day associated with Lord Shiva – a day on which Shiva removes people’s bad karma. Just before, during and through sunset is believed to be a particularly auspicious time to connect with Shiva by for instance chanting the Om Namah Shivaaya mantra.