Hundred days, two motorcycles, 26 countries – that’s the goal for world-renowned environmentalist and spiritualist Sadhguru as he sets off this week on a road trip like no other to raise awareness around soil degradation.
The founder of Isha Foundation and the Conscious Planet movement will kick-start his journey in London on March 21 and traverse through icy roads and unfriendly terrain to reach the Kaveri Basin in India on June 21, in time for International Day of Yoga (IDY). The target is to reach 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,” Sadhguru said at a special Rendezvous event organised by The Chambers club at the Taj in London before he set off.
“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, whose full name is Jaggi Vasudev, 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 sign up to his Save Soil pledge to prioritise soil regeneration.
“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 fertiliser or pesticide industry. Everyone has a role to play,” he added.
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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.
Mehrnavaz Avari, UK Area Director and General Manager of the Taj at St. James' Court in London, said: “The Save Soil movement strongly resonates with Taj and our values. 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.”