London: Well-known Indian spiritualist and environmentalist Sadhguru launched his “Journey to Save Soil” in London, as he prepares to embark on a 100-day motorcycle ride through 26 countries to raise awareness around soil degradation that poses a threat to life on the planet.
The founder of Isha Foundation and the Conscious Planet movement will begin his tour from London on Monday and conclude it in the Kaveri Basin in India on June 21 in time for the International Day of Yoga (IDY). The road trip will see the Yoga guru travel the icy roads of Europe through to battling the Indian Monsoon with a target of reaching an audience of around 3.5 billion people to create a sense of urgency around the Save Soil campaign.
“Soil degradation is approaching levels that threaten food production, climate stability, and the very life on this planet,” said Jaggi Vasudev, known as Sadhguru, at a Rendezvous event at the Taj in London on Friday.
“We are not environmentalists or ecologists, we are the environment and ecology. We have forgotten that… Soil is the most lively thing on the planet. It is the basis of everything that you know as life,” he said, in conversation with British Indian peer Lord Jitesh Gadhia.
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The 64-year-old riding enthusiast will be joined by well-known figures along the route of his road tour for public events planned in major cities including Amsterdam, Berlin, Paris, Geneva, and Tel Aviv. His mission is to get policymakers and influencers to sign up for his Save Soil pledge to prioritize soil regeneration.
“Icy roads and two-wheelers are not friends but as if that was not enough, there is a war going on. We are not going through the [Russia-Ukraine] war region but into the refugee influx region,” said Sadhguru, of the arduous terrain ahead.
“And, as this is the 75th year of India’s Independence, I will also be picking out 75 revolutionaries who participated in the country’s freedom struggle since 1857. We can’t build monuments for them, but we can bring them back into people’s memories. I feel as a nation if we are not grateful for what previous generations have done, an ungrateful nation will not go very far,” he said.
Save Soil is a global movement to address the soil crisis by getting countries to institute national policies towards increasing the organic content in cultivable soil. The campaign has found the support of the Indian government, with funds allocated towards it.
“Our Prime Minister’s [Narendra Modi] heart is very much in the soil and soil regeneration. Already there has been money allotted for this project, which is tremendous; it’s a game-changer,” said Sadhguru.
The environmentalist’s focus is on highlighting the need for better farming practices, such as the use of cover crops, plant litter, and animal waste to enhance the organic content of the soil. He believes that farmers know best and should be supported with the right incentives.
“Rich soil is rich life. No scientific research is needed to prove that; every organism knows that. So, we need everyone to join this movement; we are not against anybody – the fertilizer or pesticide industry. Everyone has a role to play,” he added.
Around 14 countries have signed up to work towards securing soil health globally and Sadhguru hopes many more nations would have joined at the end of his road trip, which includes a catchy anthem played for a sing-along at the Taj in London this week.
“The Save Soil movement strongly resonates with Taj and our values,” said Mehrnavaz Avari, UK Area Director and General Manager of the Taj at St. James’ Court in London.
“We are part of the Tata company and these are values that go back to our founder. We have championed several causes related to education, environment, and health. This falls among our larger ethos of what Taj and Tatas believe in,” she said.
The Rendezvous series of talks, organized by the recently launched exclusive Chambers members’ club, will host similar high-profile speakers and masterclasses on a regular basis for an exchange of thoughts and ideas and celebration of Indian cuisine at the hotel.