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There Is Only One Solution

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

Replenishing The Soil

The simplest way to replenish soil and make Cauvery flow again 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.
  • The government must provide incentives for farmers, which will assist them in making the shift to agroforestry.

Planting 242 Crore Trees

  • The campaign will support farmers to plant 242 crore or 2.42 billion trees through agroforestry, covering one-third of Cauvery basin in tree cover.
  • This is a 12-year plan.

Action Now to Save Cauvery!

₹ 42 per Tree

Join the movement.

  • Plant 1 or more trees and be a Cauvery Upasaka
  • Plant 10+ trees and be a Cauvery Shoora
  • Plant 100+ trees and be a Cauvery Mitr
  • Plant 1000+ trees and be a Cauvery Veera
  • Plant 10,000+ tress and be a Cauvery ParamVeera
  • Plant 100,000+ trees and be a Cauvery Rakshak
  • Plant 1 million+ trees and be a Cauvery Yodha
  • Plant 10 million+ trees and be a Cauvery Nayaka

Agroforestry & Farmers

Agroforestry is the practice of growing conventional crops with fruit and timber trees in the same farm.

Benefits of Agroforestry

  • The river is replenished.
  • The produce from trees adds to the farmer’s income.
  • The presence of trees reduces pests, improves soil quality and prevents erosion.
  • This means better harvests and more income for the farmer.
  • Timber sale can tide farmers over difficult times.

Cauvery Calling 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. It will also reach millions of people to raise awareness about the river’s dire state.

How Trees Rejuvenate Soil

Every year, India loses about 5.3 billion tons of soil! But under tree cover, soil is protected because of the litter – the leaves and branches that are shed by the tree and fall to the ground. If the ground is free from litter and cover, water flows freely and can take away the soil with it.

Studies have shown that the more closely an agricultural system resembles a natural forest in its canopy structure, tree spacing and ground cover, the less chance there is of soil erosion.

How Trees Revitalize Rivers

Trees help rain seep into soil because living and decaying roots make soil porous, by creating a network of well-connected, minuscule channels in the soil. Once water is absorbed, just as rainwater percolated downward into soil, water can percolate horizontally as well. This kind of underground “water flow” can feed water into streams and rivers, maintaining continuous river flow even after the rainy season is over.

How Trees Increase Farmers' Income

There are several case studies of farmers’ incomes rising when they shift from crop cultivation to tree plantations.

Farmers earn increased income from timber sale, fruits from trees and intercrops. Neem leaves, honey, craft products, ayurvedic medicines and tree-based products such as rubber are also an income source.

Tourism is another income source. Farm tourism or rural tourism is a small but growing trend. Ecotourism is another sector applicable when trees and the surrounding ecosystem reach maturity.

A Scale-able Model

  1. Cauvery Calling is a large-scale implementation of the Rally for Rivers policy. Rally for Rivers is a volunteer-led movement that aims to revitalize rivers through holistic models that can be adopted worldwide.
  2. The focus on Cauvery will offer an example implemented over a large river basin of 88,000 sq kms. It will set an example for a sustainable river revitalization process that the rest of India and the tropical areas of the world can follow.
  3. Cauvery Calling will demonstrate how ecology and economy can go together, and that reviving ecology can be a very lucrative process.

Once this is demonstrated, it is inevitable that everyone takes it up.