Nature’s bountifulness has always helped our life grow in prosperity. One such element out of the 5 building blocks of Life on this planet that have beautified the variety of existence that we see around us, including ourselves, is water. Water is an inseparable part of the life on our planet. Water is so important that we may call it life itself. But today, Nature has been taken for granted by us while we are busy stitching technology in our lives and we don’t even realise how it has suffered. This happened largely because of unawareness of the consequences of our actions.
Due to indiscriminate actions taken by humans of cutting trees and constructing concrete jungles, nature couldn’t shower enough rains and all the living creatures got affected. The forests faced soil erosion, while rivers and greenery vanished. The global warming eventually led to the droughts which struck almost everywhere in the interior parts of our country. The farmers who earn their living relying on rains got disheartened and were deprived of their livelihood. The major rivers also faced droughts. The problems of water-wars, crop failures, farmer suicides, environmental degradation and unsustainable agricultural practices started dawning.
It is said that an aspiration to make a change can inspire many to achieve a righteous cause. One such inspiration for us is Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar himself who is Humanitarian & Spiritual leader and an Ambassador of Peace. He knew that the rejuvenation of rivers was the only means to remove misery from the lives of millions thirsting for water all over India. This strong intention to empower the lives of our ‘Annadaata’ farmers was also the inspiration to help them become the able pillars of our country. The Art of Living volunteers gathered spiritedly to rejuvenate the life-giving rivers.
Various projects were taken up for the rejuvenation of rivers like Vedavathi, Kumudavathi, Banjara, Palar and many many more. Vedavathi river rejuvenation’s success inspired the Government of India to learn from this project and initiate similar projects across the country to revive the drying rivers. Kumudavathi river rejuvenation aims to reduce Bangalore city’s water dependence on the river Kaveri. 2700 volunteers including corporate employees’ engagement saw a remarkable resolve with youthfulness exhibited an astounding result which directly benefited 70000 people. Manjara river which was desilited over 14 kms in length and was cleaned in 5 months time has saw its revival. The humble citizens of Latur contributed Rs.6.25 crores from the household savings to take the charge of curbing sudden water crisis.
Palar river rejuvenation project which when completed will bring back water to various districts of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. This will set an example of how a model of inter-state river management should be.
The scientific approach with community engagement and project management complemented in such a way that till now 27 rivers have been revived and 3000 villages have benefited along with 50,00,000 people.
The river rejuvenation teams are committed to not just reviving rivers but also to rebuilding lives by empowering individuals and to rekindle the hope of fortifying the future of the country. All the projects taken up are employed with the latest scientific technology, insightful scientific knowledge and guidance by experts.
The success in the projects has been achieved by providing local solutions to restore water sources and to directly benefit many people by providing a reliable and safe water supply. There are various other steps taken to reduce contamination of water sources and to improve sanitation and hygienic conditions in many rural areas thereby securing lives from diseases and ensure basic health to many.
The fact-sheet that can leave us in wonder is that work has been done for over 290 kilometers of river lines and 60 kilometers of similar work is in progress. This work done till now; covers about 9 districts and 6 more districts are to be covered in the ongoing projects. 21 rivers have been rejuvenated in Maharashtra, 3 in Karnataka and one in Tamil Nadu. The projects have revived 75 canals, 18 lakes and ponds and the list continues.
This effort by the Art of Living Foundation is not just a project but a way of touching the lives of millions under the guidance of a caring spiritual master who aims at establishing heaven on earth by creating happiness and love for all across the globe.
Rejuvenated rivers will rejuvenate lives, rejuvenated lives will rejuvenate society, rejuvenated societies will rejuvenate the country, rejuvenated countries will rejuvenate the whole world, one step at a time and then this planet will undeniably be the best place to live in.
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Jai Gurudev !