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Sadhguru urges Indians to manage soil better to help ward off global hunger at the Save Soil Campaign

Sadhguru regaled the audience as well as urged it to help improve soil through the Save Soil Campaign (Photos: Rahul Kumar)

Sadhguru was given a rousing welcome at a packed Indira Gandhi indoor stadium by an enthusiastic crowd on Sunday evening. The house-full audience gave a cheerful thumbs-up to his call for action on saving degraded soils.

The well-known guru, founder of Isha yoga, is known for his energetic speeches and infectious humour. He regaled Delhiites with jokes even as he took up the important subject of saving soils and food systems on the World Environment Day. Sadhguru said: "This is the problem with humanity – that we walk into disasters and then we grieve about it. But we could also become the generation that can save the world".

He said that over the last hundred years, humanity is facing problems. "After World War-I ended, we said 'never again another war'. Twenty-five years later we had the Second World War. We again said, 'not another war'. After that the UN too came into being. And in the 100 years since then we are still witnessing wars."

The spiritual leader pointed out towards impending food shortages due to depleting soils. He said: "Food shortage will cause wars. Everything we have built as a civilisation, will be ripped apart if there is no food for people. If there is a famine, people will kill for food. The pretensions of being human will be lost. We are driving towards a famine if we do not do something about our soil".

Giving a humorous touch to his serious subject, he said: "People think Swiggy grows food".

In another funny one he said: "A man comes to me and says, 'Sadguru we have created an app, it will save all problems".

He urged the cheering crowd to raise their voice so that the leaders hear the call from the people. "Raising the organic content of the soil is a must, so you have to tweet about it, use Instagram, put it on the social media, and if you do not have one, download it from our site”, the guru said.

This family travelled 250 kms from Chandigarh to the Save Soil campaign 

True to his skills as a resourceful speaker, Sadhguru kept the audience entertained with his witticisms but also exhorted them to do more for soil, putting soil health above all other environmental issues. 

Noted writer and historian Sanjeev Sanyal introduced Sadhguru on the stage to a rousing applause. Sanyal said: "With 75 gruelling days across the world we welcome Sadhguru to the city. Let us not forget why we are here. We face the serious issue of soil degradation.

Sanyal added: "Fifty per cent of the soil on the planet is seriously degraded. This poses an existential crisis for humanity and the planet. Do you know humanity survives on just two feet of topsoil that covers our planet. We depend on this soil for the food and the air that we breathe. We need to put in a huge effort worldwide to protect the soil from unsustainable agricultural practices, from degradation, from erosion…".

Enthusiastic crowds thronged the venue of the Save Soil Campaign

The Indian guru addressed an enthusiastic crowd—in numbers and in their enthusiasm.

The entrance to the venue was traditional Indian—rangoli, marigold flowers, fragrances wafting everywhere, colours of white, saffron and green. The stadium represented a microcosm of India—people of all ages and groups, from across the country. People in T-shirts and trousers as well as sarees, dhotis and kurtas.

Volunteers and followers of Sadhguru danced, sang and shouted "save soil" slogans. Placards of 'Save Soil Action Now. Let us make it happen'.

Two large screens entertained the enthusiastic people. They belted out visuals of Sadhguru's motorcycle rallies, his adventures and speeches as he lobbied for a more fertile soil. The screens showed screaming crowds as well as world leaders that the Indian guru met. Right from tete-a-tete with European Union leaders, to top UN officials to the Sheikhs in the Arab world, it was all displayed on the screens.

"Will you promise me that in 100 years’ time we will make the weather cool for future generations", Sadhguru exhorted the crowd from the giant screens. 

The visuals also had Sadhguru's bike being ferried across rivers and oceans. The Indian leg of his tour had enthusiastic people welcoming him with songs, music and dances as he rode his bike across the country to reach Delhi.