Sunday, February 24, 2008

An eco-guru comes to town

Cardiologist and Star of Mysore columnist Dr Javeed Nayeem, in his last Friday piece wrote about a visionary and his vision. Provocation for his column was Mysore’s felicitation of Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev of Isha Foundation, Coimbatore, on his having been invited to address the Davos world economic forum, repeatedly for the last three years. Dr Nayeem devotes nearly all his three-column space to the sadhguru’s message for binding spirituality with economics.

I can’t say I grasped the connection between economics and spirituality. Sadhguru makes a lot more sense in me when he talks of the connection between trees and humans; and about the disastrous consequences of our reckless disregard for retaining the tree-humans balance. Sadhguru’s GreenHands project seeks to pay back to earth what humans have taken away from it by way of green cover. The project, focused on Tamilnadu, is an ongoing drive to plant 11.4 crore saplings, statewide, by 2010. Which is how the state could hope to get a 30 percent green cover (from the present 17) over the next 15 years.

For the launch of GreenHands in October 2006 Sadguru mobilized over 250,000 followers and volunteers who planted over 850,000 saplings on over 6200 locations in 27 districts, on a single day – Oct.17, 2006. But the guru says he is not in the business of setting Guinness records.

He is in it for the long haul. And the objective he has in mind – 30 per cent green cover in Tamilnadu – can be accomplished only with the involvement of all sections – people, business houses, the government and the media. All this calls for more sensible leadership, policy change, a change in technology, and in our attitude, lifestyle. To get a sense of what is involved, and to hear the sadhguru explain things in his own words – you need to watch the 11-minute video (click the relevant word in last line in this link to project GreenHands)

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