Cauvery Calling

Cauvery Calling is a first of its kind campaign, setting the standard for how India’s rivers can be revitalized.

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One Problem, Two Faces

Two of the most pressing problems of our time are closely related.

kaveri river depletion

Cauvery’s Depletion

  • Cauvery has depleted 40% in the last 70 years
  • Almost half the Cauvery basin suffers critical groundwater depletion
  • 87% of the basin’s original tree cover has been lost
  • During the summer, Cauvery is unable to reach the ocean
  • A desolate, sandy bed is all that millions of people see for many months of the year
causes of farmer distress in india

Farmer Distress

  • The suffering of farmers and their suicides in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka have made national headlines
  • 83% of farmers in Tamil Nadu and 77% of farmers in Karnataka are in debt
  • 17 districts in Tamil Nadu were drought-hit in 2019
  • 15 of the last 18 years have been drought years in Karnataka

Why Cauvery Is Dying

The depletion of Cauvery and the distress of farmers have a common source – the dying soil.

Cauvery, like almost all rivers in India, is forest-fed. Historically, this region was covered in forests and tree cover. The soil was constantly replenished with nutrients and organic matter by animal waste and plant litter.

Organic matter allowed the soil to absorb water, and thus feed Cauvery. But as human population grows and tree cover reduces, the soil is no longer replenished. It no longer absorbs water and suffers erosion instead.

The soil no longer feeds Cauvery, which is drying up.

soil erosion causes

There Is Only One Solution

The solution lies in replenishing the soil. If we can replenish the soil’s nutrients and carbon content, it will once again turn fertile, absorb rainwater, and feed Cauvery. This will revive the river ecology and also improve the farmer’s economic situation.

The easiest and cheapest way to replenish soil is to plant trees.

  • In government land, native tree species can be planted
  • In private farmland, farmers can shift to agroforestry - the practice of growing conventional crops with fruit and timber trees in the same farm.
plantation of plants
What Cauvery Calling Will Achieve
  • Plant 242 crore trees in Cauvery basin, with 73 crore trees in the first phase across Tamil Nadu and Karnataka
  • Multiply farmers’ income by 3-8 times in 5-7 years
  • Increase water retention in Cauvery basin by an estimated 40%
replenish soil

Replenish the soil’s nutrients and carbon content. This will revive the river ecology and also improve the farmer’s economic situation.

increase kaveri river water

Increase water retention in Cauvery basin by an estimated 40%.

importance of agroforestry

The produce from Agroforestry adds to the farmer’s income. The presence of trees reduces pests, which means better harvests and 
more income.


Cauvery Calling will reach millions of people to raise awareness about the dire state of the river. It will connect with millions of farmers and inform them about the benefits of agroforestry, and work with the administration to support farmers in the shift to agroforestry.

Sadhguru Answers The Call

In September, Sadhguru will launch the Cauvery Calling campaign with a two-week motorcycle rally. Sadhguru will ride from Cauvery’s source at Talakaveri to the ocean at Thiruvarur. Sadhguru will conduct several large scale events at major cities, as well as hundreds of smaller events at towns and villages along Cauvery.


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Rally for Rivers


Rally for Rivers is a movement to save India’s lifelines. Supported by over 162 million people, it is the world’s largest ecological movement today. Sadhguru launched Rally for Rivers by personally driving over 9300 kms to raise awareness about the dire situation of our rivers.

A Draft Policy Recommendation on River Revitalization was handed over by Sadhguru to Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 2, 2017. Rally for Rivers is now focusing on rapid implementation of the solution through on-the-ground action in several states.