What Inspired You To Work For the Environment? – Sadhguru

Good afternoon. Good to see such a big
audience. I’m here with the man who has inspired millions of Indians to work for
the environment and particularly to clean up and save the fantastic
beautiful big rivers of India. So I think we will explore a little bit what
inspires you and then how you’re able to inspire others and then later we’ll move
on to maybe the more practical issues regarding how you can achieve such a
such a big big movement in in India but let’s start start there and how how you
have been inspired to to start working for the environment?
Namaskaram. Good good afternoon to everyone. My engagement with rivers and forests of
southern India started very early for me when I was 8, 9 years of age, if I got
enough money to buy food for 3 to 4 days I just managed this and disappeared into
the jungles by myself, well it was a big concern for those who bore me but (laughs) I just
lived in the jungles and and when I was there I did not experience this as some
kind of nature or natural beauty I just saw it as a life larger than myself and
when I was 17 I floated down Kaveri River for 163 kilometers for 13 days
weating off the river living off the river just on 4 truck tubes and a few
bamboos and the river is a life beyond you and me, people like you and may come
and go but these rivers have been flowing for millions of years
and they must flow forever but such a mighty life we’ve brought it down to its
knees today the rivers that I saw at that time
50 years ago and the rivers that I see today or just half of what they used to
be they say average depletion is around 44% but many rivers are well below half
and many of them which were perineal for millions of years have
become seasonal rivers this year Kaveri did not touch the ocean for three and a
half months it dried up 170 kilometers inland the entire length of Kaveri in
Tamil Nadu between these two states Karnataka and Tamil Nadu there is a big
war for water it’s going on for last 25 years but the entire length of the river
is only 430 kilometers but it dried up 170 kilometers inland and the sad part
is when we did this painting competition across the country in over 160,000
schools, many children when we asked them to paint the river they just painted
sand this is the experience of the people. And why is that why are they
going so joyous agriculture why is it happening. See in India only four percent
of the river water is glacial or ice fed rest is all forest fed, forest fed
essentially means we have rains unlike in Europe we have rains for only on an
average of 40 to 45 days across the country which is our monsoon this 45
days of precipitation we are supposed to hold it in the land for 365 days and let
it go in the river slowly if this has to happen substantial vegetation has to be
there. There is a serious removal of vegetation not only in the form of
forests but also in the farmlands there used to be vegetation for example in the
Ganga basin which amounts to 25% of India’s geography and 33% of India’s
agricultural produce in the last 50 years we have removed 94 percent of the
green cover. 94 percent. This has happened mainly because I know this well because
40, 45 years ago I was into farming and at that time when the new movement came of
green revolution where we started using fertilizers for the first time chemical
fertilizers. Fertilizer companies openly advised every farmer to remove all the
trees because fertilizer gets absorbed by the
root system of the trees and it will not produce yield for the crops, so across the
country in the last 35, 40 years a huge depletion of green cover happened that
is the main reason why waters have receded. Another thing is there is a
serious exploitation of groundwater which is an inevitable consequence of
not having enough water in the rivers. In your video you said something like
people believe that water brings forests but the opposite is more true, forests brings water. It is so, it is there is substantial science today to show you
that it is the tree cover which attracts rain and right now we see that wherever
the rains happen in India the monsoon is becoming so scattered though the same
volume of water is coming down in principle in the last hundred years
there’s not been too much variation in the amount of water or the precipitation
coming down on the Indian subcontinent but where it is coming down and what
patterns it is coming down has completely altered mainly because of
lack of green cover and today there is no more debate about it everybody knows
that it’s a forests which draw water or rain.

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