Rally for Rivers, a campaign that has caught the imagination of India, was flagged off from Coimbatore today by Union Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate change, Shri. Harsh Vardhan. Sadhguru, who will personally drive through 16 states in 30 days to raise awareness about the dire condition of India’s dying rivers said, “This is not a protest nor is this an agitation. This is a campaign to raise awareness that our rivers are depleting. Everyone who consumes water must Rally for Rivers.”
Several state Chief Ministers and political leaders from the Center cutting across party lines have publicly endorsed the campaign. Rally for Rivers has generated massive public interest and support for the cause of India’s dying rivers which on average have decreased by at least 40% since Independence. While several complex factors have contributed to the decline, it has been proven that massive tree cover loss in the river basins has been the biggest contributor to most of the perennial rivers turning seasonal in India.
The Rally for Rivers launch event was attended by a galaxy of celebrities, politicians, sportspersons and 10,000 citizens. Over the past 2 months, the campaign has been endorsed and supported by people from all walks of life. High profile endorsees include celebrities like Shah Rukh Khan and several Hindi and regional film stars, Governors and Chief Ministers, Union and State Ministers, Congress President Sonia Gandhi, several sportspersons including Sachin Tendulkar and P.V. Sindhu . Hordes of people have conducted sessions in schools, colleges and offices, and stood in street corners holding up the ‘Rally for Rivers’ placards making sure that everyone in the country understands the necessity for this people’s movement and makes a missed call to register their support.