Feb 2010

Karur, an ancient city of Tamil Nadu with a glorious past is now an administrative district of the state. Given its geographical location and history, Karur is a fast developing city that has earned repute for its cottage industry, milled rice, cotton fabric, and brass products. Like any other city on the rise, Karur is also heavily subjected to environmental damage due to lack of rain as a result of deforestation. Its two main rivers, the Noiyal and Amravati carry dangerous waste chemicals from the dyeing units, and dry up during the summer months. The escalating number of vehicles on the road only add to the complication of the city’s environmental condition.

The Green Karur Movement (GKM), born out of this concern, is an ecological initiative of Isha Outreach, promoted by Project GreenHands. It is aimed at reversing environmental degradation and is helping create a green and healthy Karur city by planting and nurturing 10,000 tree saplings.

The GKM has joined hands with the locals and has already brought district offices, industrials, streets, roadsides, residential areas, educational institutions and other protected places under a green coverage of saplings specially grown at the Isha nurseries. In their effort to spread further awareness, the GKM recently involved schools, colleges and the general public to participate in poetry and drawing contests, followed by an environmental awareness meet and rally earlier in the year.

The main event of this awareness campaign on 10 January was presided by Dr. Uma Maheshwari, I.A.S., Collector of Karur District. Mr. P.T. Kuppusamy, CEO, Karur Vysya Bank, Mr. V.S. Reddy, M.D., Lakshmi Vilas Bank, Mr. R. Mani, G.M. of Tamil Nadu News Print Ltd., Karur, were felicitated for their support to the movement.

However, the highlight of the event was the distribution of the prizes and tree saplings by Sadhguru himself. His words did not fall on deaf ears as he addressed a crowd of over 5000 people: “Humans, soil, water and air cannot be separated. Humans cannot live without nature. Nature does her part by offering soil, water, and air; we must plant more trees and keep the environment friendly. This is a fundamental knowledge that we have forgotten due to a life filled with technology. We can change the environmental situation in Karur in 5 years.” And on that note, he planted the first tree sapling in the premises, along with a seed of environmental awareness.