On Sunday, streets of Mumbai witnessed 70 bikers with pillions and more in cars roaring through the city to raise people's awareness about the Save Soil movement. The movement was launched last month by Sadhguru, the founder of the globally recognised initiative, in an urgent bid to halt and reverse soil degradation. The movement seeks to activate citizen support towards the cause and drive national policy changes to revitalise soil. Sporting a specially designed biker’s bib flashing Save Soil logo, placards and flags, the bikers instantaneously drew the attention of Mumbaikars towards the cause.
The bike ride comes amid the backdrop of Sadhguru’s upcoming Keynote address at the 15th session of the Conference of Parties (COP15) to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) where he will will urge heads of state and political leaders from 195 countries to introduce policy reforms in their countries to save soil.
“Throughout history, motorcycling communities have rallied for great causes. Mumbai’s motorcycle community has come out in large numbers to amplify the message to Save our Soil,” said Arjun Raman, the chief ride organiser. Mr. Raman, the Associate Vice President of Wipro, who regularly volunteers for such causes. The ride was flagged off from the iconic Wilson College at 8am and culminated at Bandra Fort Garden around 11am. The ride also appealed to people to register as ‘Earth Buddies’ and in turn spread awareness about the dying soil among masses.
“Sadhguru is riding across 24 countries on a bike alone to raise awareness on the depleting condition of our planet's soil. Our soil, our future. So when the opportunity to do something to help amplify this cause came in the form of a bike ride, there was no question that I would stay away. Every person alive is responsible to lend support for this cause vital to the harmonious existence of our species. I am trying to do my part and anyone who knows about this should too. Every voice counts,” said 47-year-old Aditya Jeswal, architect from Mumbai.
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Sadhguru is currently on a 100-day, 30,000-km lone motorcycle journey through Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East as part of the Movement to Save Soil. He is meeting with global leaders, scientists, environmental organisations, soil experts and other stakeholders to press for urgent policy-driven action to save soil from becoming extinct.
The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned that desertification could lead to a 40% drop in food production by 2045 even as the world’s population crosses 9 billion. According to the UNCCD, if land degradation continues at current rates, 90% of the planet could turn into a desert by 2050 - less than three decades from now.
“When I learnt that over half of the world’s agricultural soils have been degraded, and we are leaving behind a world for our children that for sure will have a food-shortage crisis, water scarcity and loss of biodiversity, among other catastrophes, I (immediately) wanted to join hands with these soil warriors and Mumbai’s bikers to help amplify the urgency of this message,” said Lavanya Ashok, Partner at Trifecta Capital, who was one among the bikers who rode approximately 18 Km each covering Girgaum Chowpatty, Priyadarshini Park, Shivaji Park and Bandra Fort Garden.
The Save Soil movement has garnered wide support across the globe, with Azerbaijan recently joining the growing list of nations that have signed memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with Save Soil as a commitment to implement policies. Sadhguru will address COP 15 tomorrow on 9th May and on 10th May. COP15 is expected to galvanise member nations to concrete action as the planet races against time to halt and reverse rapid land degradation that could lead to global desertification and soil extinction.
Conscious Planet: Save Soil, is a global movement to inspire a conscious approach to saving our soil and planet. This is, first and foremost, a people’s movement. The aim is to demonstrate the support of over 3.5 billion people (more than 60% of the world’s voting population) around the world and empower governments to initiate policy-driven action to revitalise soil and halt further degradation. World leaders, influencers, artists, experts, farmers, spiritual leaders, NGOs and citizens are vocally supporting the movement to re-establish Humanity’s relationship with Soil.