Coimbatore: Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio has extended his support for the Cauvery Calling, a movement initiated by the Isha Foundation. “India’s rivers are severely endangered with many of its smaller rivers vanishing. Join Sadhguru and the Isha Foundation in their fight to preserve the Cauvery river,” the ‘Titanic’ star said in a message on his Facebook page recently.
The post was picked up and shared and liked widely and attracted several comments, an Isha release said on Monday.
Last year, Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev was invited by DiCaprio’s foundation for their Earth Sense event. Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev had announced the launch of Cauvery Calling in July with an aim to revitalise the dying river which is the source of livelihoods, irrigation and drinking water for 84 million people, the release said.
“Cauvery has been the source of wellbeing, prosperity and the very source of life for these lands. A forest-fed perennial river is fast becoming a seasonal stream as 87% of tree cover has been removed in 50 years. Cauvery is calling, do you have the heart to hear?” asks Sadhguru.
“Cauvery Calling is a first of its kind campaign, setting the standard for how India’s rivers — the country’s lifelines — can be revitalised. It will initiate the revitalization of Cauvery river and transform the lives of 84 million people,” informs the website made for the purpose.
The movement will support lakhs of farmers in the river basin to plant 242 crore trees in an economic plan that is expected to revive not just the river but the fortunes of farmers in the basin as well, the release further said.
The initiative aims at addressing the issue of River Cauvery’s depletion. “As trees disappear and the soil is being eroded, Cauvery is drying up, and farmers are suffering,” notes the website. It says the river has depleted over 40% in the last 70 years. 87% of the basin’s original tree cover has been lost, it adds. Almost half the river basin suffers critical groundwater depletion.
Cauvery Calling is trying to address the issue of farmer distress as well. “The suffering of farmers and their suicides in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka have made national headlines,” the website notes, saying that 47,190 farmers have committed suicide in the last 15 years along the river basin. It says 83% of the farmers in Tamil Nadu and 77% in Karnataka are in debt whereas 17 districts in Tamil Nadu are drought-hit as of 2019. Fifteen of the last 18 years have been drought years in Karnataka.