BENGALURU, India, March 20, 2024 -- Guided by Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's visionary ideals, The Art of Living community is undertaking transformative projects to address India's water and environmental crises. Along with other impactful initiatives, the organisation is also combating the challenges of dry riverines in the heart of the country - a timely response to the urgency that stems from a rapid decline in India's green cover over the past decade.

Trees play a crucial role in conserving rainwater, contributing to the replenishment of the water table, revitalising water bodies, and improving the quality of air and soil. In this ecological endeavour, The Art of Living is not just planting trees; it's sowing the seeds of renewal for India's vital water resources, environmental and community well-being.

Let us walk through the different landscapes shaped by the Art of Living's dedication towards a greener, more sustainable future.

Kumudvathi Eco Restoration Project: A Green Oasis Along the Cauvery

Nestled on the left bank of the mighty Cauvery, the Kumudvathi watershed stood as a forlorn witness to its own degradation. The Art of Living responded by unfolding a strategic restoration plan across 426 sq km, encompassing 26 Gram Panchayats near Bengaluru. Over 1,05,000 trees, representing 50 native species, were planted - not just to revive a dried-up river but to restore an entire ecosystem.

From Brown to Green: Guttahalli Hills Afforestation

In the Guttahalli Hills of the Palar River Basin, a green revolution took root. Thirty thousand saplings, featuring over 20 diverse native species, found homes across 60 hectares of Gomala lands. This initiative, sprawling over 70+ hectares, sought to remodel barren lands into vibrant ecosystems - championing the cause of groundwater recharge.

Manjra Riverine Basin Rejuvenation: Drought Hit Latur Returns to Life

In the face of a severe drought in 2016, Latur's Manjra riverine basin stood on the brink of despair with water levels plunging to 500 feet. Water had to be delivered to the drought-affected region every single day by 125 tankers and even trains. Fast forward to today, and the region is adorned with over 30,000 trees, a testament to the resilience of nature and the dedication of The Art of Living volunteers and local communities. This ongoing green revolution continues to breathe life into the region, forcing water problems firmly into the past.

Naganadhi Restoration: A Story Of Women Empowerment

In the Vellore district of Tamil Nadu, a record-breaking initiative witnessed the planting of over 2,12,000 Palmyra palms (revered in Tamil culture as the state tree of Tamil Nadu) along the Naganadhi basin, establishing a world record for the highest number of trees planted in an hour. This feat, recognised in the 100th episode of 'Mann Ki Baat,' by PM Shri Narendra Modi not only set a world record but also highlighted the pivotal role played by enabled rural women in the project's success.

While the Palmyra palm took centre stage, it was accompanied by an additional 5,000 native tree saplings as a complementary measure.

Agroforestry in Kale Belgunda Village: Sowing the Seeds of Sustainability

Kale Belgunda Village in Karnataka witnessed a green revolution of a different kind. Over 3,000 plants found their place in agroforestry practices, painting the terrain with shades of green and enhancing soil moisture. An additional 1,400 plants allocated to horticulture, now provide an alternative income stream for local farmers.

These initiatives aren't just about planting trees; they're about rewriting the destiny of our riverines. Through afforestation, The Art of Living is cultivating hope, resilience and a sustainable future for generations to come. The riverines mentioned in this article are no longer helpless witnesses, they've surged back to life, resonating with the revival of nature's energy and unwavering human effort.

About the Art of Living

The Art of Living's holistic approach to preserving the environment is turning crisis into hope. Fostering change through vast tree plantations, restoring life to once-barren and polluted waterways, advocating natural farming for soil health are some of the many ingenious and sustainable Art of Living initiatives that revitalise communities, livelihoods, and even policies.

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