You’ve most probably heard of Cauvery Calling (if you’re a MetroSaga reader, you should have!) It’s a movement launched by Sadhguru, Founder, Isha Foundation, to revive river Cauvery, the source of drinking water for most of us Bengalureans.
We thought we’ll compile a list of quick facts about Cauvery Calling for you –this affects you directly, so it’s good to be in the know. What say?
1. Cauvery Calling kills at least two birds with one stone – well, maybe not the best of analogies, anyway…Cauvery Calling aims to revive the river and revive farmers’ fortunes as well. In the Cauvery basin alone, nearly 47,000 farmers have committed suicide in the last decade, so we’ll be all glad if this project can help farmers get out of their debt traps; after all, you and I eat because of them. If you want to know how Cauvery Calling proposes to do this, check their website.
2. This is not afforestation, it’s agroforestry – what’s the difference you ask? Simply put, afforestation is bringing back forests by planting trees; agroforestry is planting high-value trees, harvesting them, selling them and profiting from them and repeating the cycle. We can’t bring back forests – where’s the place?
Most of us don’t even have access to a garden, forget a forest! But farmers in the Cauvery basin have farmlands, so this is the next best thing.
3. Agroforestry will be promoted on private farmlands, not on public land – hmmm, there’s been some confusion about this; some media reports claimed planting will be done on public land, so we’ve clarified this with the project team. Commercially valuable trees will be grown by farmers on their own farmlands, where farmers will also continue to grow crops.
4. The farmer has the right to choose whether or not he wants to enroll in the Cauvery Calling plan – this again, we’ve clarified with the team. There is no compulsion for anyone to switch to agroforestry. They can if they’re convinced that the model will earn them more revenue than what they’re earning now.
Fair and square.
5. This is a tried and tested model, not an experiment – tried and tested on 69,760 farmers in Tamil Nadu. Apparently, their incomes have risen from 300 to 800% in 3 to 5 years after adopting agroforestry – that’s some cool rise in income! Don’t you wish we could get these kinds of salary hikes!
6. They’re not random trees, the species are carefully selected – based on what? well, their commercial value for one because the farmer will harvest them and sell them; on their compatibility with the soil and climate conditions in the basin, for another, because saplings have to survive to grow into trees!
7. Saplings with 100% natural inputs will be raised in Isha nurseries – here’s another cool bit of info we got: The Isha nurseries are being renamed Mahatma Green India Mission to honor the Father of the Nation on his 150th birth anniversary.
8. The average cost of a sapling is Rs. 42 – and this is where you come in (if you want to). How 42? Why 42? Based on the several listed varieties of saplings (some high-value species cost more, others less) this is the average they’ve arrived at.
9. Local communities will be employed to raise saplings – and once they’re raised, Isha plans to buy them back and distribute them to farmers, so that’s one of the ways your contribution will help – in buying them back.
10. This is a 12-year project – yes, folks, they’re in it for the long haul – 12 years! So if you thought you can contribute Rs. 42 today and make Cauvery flow tomorrow, well…
And here’s a fun Cauvery Calling game if you want to play it.
So we’ve done our part for mother Cauvery, now over to you!