Response to allegations against Isha Foundation
A few days ago, some vested interest groups filed petitions making baseless allegations about the 112-ft Adiyogi statue. We would like to place on record that Isha Foundation carries out all its activities within the purview of the law.
The accusations laid down in the petitions filed against Isha Foundation in the Madras High Court are frivolous and a compilation of twisted allegations. We would like to clarify that it is a 112-feet statue of Adiyogi Shiva (the Source of Yoga). The petitioner, incited by vested interest groups, is willfully trying to create a sensation by misrepresenting facts.
We have obtained the approval of the necessary authorities, including the District Collector, Coimbatore, the Forest Department and BSNL. A structural stability certificate from a government certified engineer has also been obtained for the 112-ft Adiyogi statue. A “No Objection Certificate” from the District Collector, Coimbatore for using wetlands for non-agricultural purposes has also been obtained. So the question of violation does not even arise.
These vested interest groups have been working actively to stop Mahashivratri celebrations. Even in 2013, a group has brought in a petition to stay Mahashivratri celebrations at Isha. The High Court then ordered the district authorities to file a report on the impact of Mahashivratri celebrations on ecology. Upon this directive, a team of district officials led by the Revenue Divisional Officer were present at the Mahashivratri venue to inspect various parameters and its impact on the ecology. The final report filed by the district authorities reiterated the truth that there was no violation observed at the Mahashivratri celebrations. The same was also reported in dailies like Times of India dated 12.03.2013.
Isha has been working continuously to protect the environment through Project GreenHands which was founded under the aegis of Isha Foundation, and has facilitated the planting of over 30 million saplings. Isha has been involved in preserving the ecology of the mountains by planting saplings and cleaning the mountains regularly. In fact, the lands in which Isha Foundation functions had very few trees in the beginning; the trees in and around Isha Yoga Center have been planted by the volunteers of Isha Yoga Center. Reports from the Forest officials have also reiterated the same.
In Isha, Mahashivratri has been celebrated every year for the past several decades with adequate efforts undertaken to avoid any disturbance to the ecology. This festival is also celebrated in several places across Tamil Nadu and India without causing any damage to the environment and ecology. These vested interest groups are trying to exploit these ancient festivals time and again to gain cheap publicity and sow discord.