Sadhguru steps on the gas for Save Soil Movement

London's Parliament Square on Monday became the flag-off point for Indian spiritual leader Sadhguru's 30,000km motorbike tour as he set off on his Save Soil awareness campaign across Europe and the Middle East en route to India.

The 64-year-old donned his biking gear for the 100-day trip, which would take him to Amsterdam, Berlin and Prague over the course of this week on a BMW K1600 GT motorcycle.

After a series of events scheduled in key cities along the way, he aims for a homecoming in New Delhi in 75 days, in honour of India's 75th year of independence.

"It's extremely important that we act now. I've been talking about this for over 24 years, but solution can happen only when there is positive policy in every nation," Sadhguru told reporters at the Indian High Commission in London before setting off.

"It is still snowing in many parts of Europe and we'll be going through that on a two-wheeler. At this age, it's not really a joyride.

"So why am I doing this? Because over 300,000 farmers have committed suicide in the last 20 years. Not just in India, across the world this is happening... one of the main concerns is soil depletion."

The Save Soil Movement, launched as part of the spiritual leader's Conscious Planet initiative, is aimed at turning the world's attention towards dying soil and growing desertification.

The focus is on getting countries to institute national policies towards increasing the organic content in cultivable soil.

The campaign, which is backed by the World Food Programme and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, calls on policymakers around the world to make soil regeneration a priority.

"No matter how much wealth, education and money we have, our children cannot live well unless we restore the soil and water. Conscious Planet is the only way forward," Sadhguru, whose full name is Jagadish Vasudev, said at the University of Birmingham last week.

His solo motorbike journey will end in time for the Summer Solstice on June 21 at the Cauvery Calling project in Tamil Nadu, which is enabling the planting of 2.42 billion trees in private farmlands in the Cauvery river basin to restore the severely depleted river and revitalise the soil.

According to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, over 90 per cent of the Earth's soil could become degraded by 2050.

This will lead to catastrophic crises worldwide, including food and water shortages, droughts and famines, adverse climate changes, mass migrations and unprecedented rates of species extinction.

The Save Soil campaign aims to inspire at least 3.5 billion people, or 60 per cent of the world's electorate, to support long-term government policies to revitalise soil and reverse its depletion.

Indo-Asian News Service

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