Rivers have been the lifelines of this nation and of every nation in a way. We are a culture, a civilization, which have grown out of a river bank. All rivers in India are at a dangerous level of depletion. That means, in another 15 to 20 years time, most of our rivers will be seasonal, they will not be perennial. If you just fly over India, you look down, you will see entire India looks like brown desert. All rivers are drying up like this, Krishna is not touching the ocean almost four months Kaveri, two and a half months to three months, it doesn’t touch the ocean. When rain comes, it floods, otherwise there is nothing. A river which has flown for million years, in one generation, if we kill it …. This is the Cauvery river. I’m 60 years right now Not a single was it ever dry like this There used to be always a lot of water Only now it has become dry And water scarcity in parts of Bihar’s district is forcing people to literally dig up a river in search of water.. The last four to five years, the river has been almost drying up… with dams, wells as well as rivers drying up in Jharkand’s… 25% of the country is turning into desert Godavari has shrunk by 20% Kaveri by 40% Krishna and Narmada by 60% A time has come where how to exploit the water is gone, we need to see how to regenerate the river. The rivers in this nation are essentially forest fed. Forest fed river means precipitation happens, because of vegetation it is held and drop by drop it is let off, it becomes small rivlets and rivlets become streams, streams become rivers. So what do we have to do for this is very simple. For every major river, one kilometer on either side, there must be plantation. If it’s government land, forest if it’s farmland, from regular farming to horticulture. Very easily, we can enhance the farmers’ income three to eight times in a matter of four to six years time. The farmer will need support – economic and material support to go through this period and come out as a prosperous farmer. If this has to happen, we must make a policy, we must give them subsidy.. It needs resolute political action, executive action is needed, policy. In the month of September, we are planning a river rally that is, I am personally driving covering sixteen states having major events to create a very strong awareness in the country that the rivers of this nation are dying. This has to be done in a very organized way. Madhya pradesh is the first state which responded to my call. I was sitting with Sadhguru, we were in a discussion He said to me “Shivraj, we have to save Narmada.. and for that we have to start a tree plantation movement” If our rivers deplete in our own lifetime, we are clearly making a statement that we are not interested in the future of our children. It is heartening to see today that all of you in great enthusiasm, participating in this movement gives us confidence that we are not going to destroy this nation. For thousands of years, these rivers have embraced us and nourished us. A time has come when we have to embrace the river and nourish the river because the greatness of our nation depends upon the great rivers in our country. Those in Central India have to walk for miles to get their glass of water.. We have a population of 1.3 billion people. I want you to just look at this possibility. No water .. 1.3 billion people .. the civil strife that will happen .. What will happen to human beings when there is no water to drink, you can forget about humanity, something else will take force. Every human being consumes water, air everything else food, land, all of us consume there’s no choice about it but when it comes to doing compensatory action, very few people are doing it. This is the disaster on the planet something so fundamental as water … If rivers stop flowing, large tracts of India will turn into graveyards. If we don’t do the right things in the next ten years, fifteen years time, it could be too late. If we successfully make this into a policy, this will be a landmark thing that’s happened in the history of Independent India. So this needs to be done right, in such a way there’s no ambiguity about whether it will happen or not, it has to happen. This is once-in-a-lifetime, not in our lives, once in a lifetime in a nation’s life. I beseech all of you to participate in this whatever way you can. When I say all of you, I mean everyone who consumes water. To have our rivers flowing, to leave this land rich and well, is the best gift we can offer to the future generations of this nation. This is not a protest This is not an agitation This is a campaign to create awareness that our rivers are depleting, everyone who consumes water must rally for rivers.