Call to conserve forests, water bodies to co-exist

ameya sathaye
By ameya sathaye March 23, 2021 12:19

Call to conserve forests, water bodies to co-exist

Bengaluru, March 21 (IANS) Marking the International Day of Forests on Sunday, Karnataka Health Minister K. Sudhakar called upon the people to conserve forests and water bodies to co-exist for future generations.

“As co-existence is the fundamental principle of ecology, we must conserve forests and water bodes for future generations,” said Sudhakar at an event held here to celebrate the first planting season of the Cauvery Calling movement, led by Sadguru Jaggi Vasudev of Isha Foundation.

Noting the relationship between humankind and nature as cited in the philosophy of Sanatana Hindu dharma, Sudhakar said the mythological vehicle of Hindu God Shiva is a bull, which is a prey to lion, whose vehicle is of Hindu Goddess Durga.

Vehicle of elephant God Ganesh is rat, which is a pray to snake that is an ornament of Shiva.

“The snake is a prey to peacock, which is the vehicle of Subramanya, the second son of Shiva and his consort Parvathi. Yet they all co-exist as one family, which is a symbol of co-existence and tolerance,” recalled Sudhakar.

Though Cauvery river originates at Talakaveri in southwest Karnataka and flows to Kerala, Puducherry and Tamil Nadu, it has been a lifeline for the people of the three southern states.

“It is our duty to protect and conserve the river for sustenance and livelihood. The flora and fauna in the region depend on the river that meanders from west to east and joins the Bay of Bengal,” asserted the minister.

Lauding the people for planting over 1 crore saplings to extend afforestation in response to Sadguru’s call, Sudhakar said about 1,000km of land was being afforested.

As a mega eco-restoration project, Cauvery Calling has the potential to turn the environment tide for the tropical area in the Indian peninsula.

Launched by Sadguru, the project will be a game-changer for water crisis and farmers’ distress as it will impact 84 million people in the country, restore and revitilise 83,000km along the river basin spanning Karnataka and Tamil Nadu by using an agro-forestry model.

The 12-year mission is set to rejuvenate the rain-fed river, recharge ground water tables, restore soil health and make farming economically viable.

“The project also inspired lakhs of farmers to plant 242-crore high-value timber saplings on their farmlands for a healthy economic reward.

The Foundation has proven the economic and ecological benefits of the model over the last 2 decades, with rise in farmers’ income 3-8 times.

With “forest to farm is the way forward’ as the theme of the event, Jaggi said all needs must be met by growing wood for economic gain on private farmlands.

“The way forward is for wood-based industries to contract with farmers for their requirement so that the Rs 70,000-crore import of timber can be stopped and its revenue be given to farmers,” asserted Sadguru.

Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa and Union Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar participated in the event.

“The green cover across the state has increased by 1,000 km, which is the highest coverage across the country,” reiterated the Chief Minister.

Javadekar said as per the Indian hoary culture, people worship water and all forms of life, including trees and animals.

“As rivers have nurtured our civilisation for thousands of years, it is our duty to ensure that we preserve every drop of rain water. We have no right to misuse or abuse water,” said Javadekar.

ameya sathaye
By ameya sathaye March 23, 2021 12:19