200 Friends of the Earth walk the streets of Mumbai with the message to save the earth

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The streets of Mumbai on Sunday saw 70 bikers with passengers and more in cars roaring through the city to raise awareness of the Save Soil movement. The movement was launched last month by Sadhguru, the founder of the globally recognized initiative, with the urgent aim of stopping and reversing land degradation. The movement seeks to activate citizen support for the cause and drive national policy changes to revitalize the soil. Sporting a specially designed bib for bikers, displaying the Save Soil logo, placards and flags, the bikers instantly drew the attention of Mumbaikars to the cause.

The bike ride comes amidst the backdrop of Sadhguru’s upcoming keynote address to the 15th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) where he will urge the heads of state and political leaders from 195 countries to introduce political reforms in their countries to save soils.

“Throughout history, motorcycling communities have stood up for great causes. Mumbai’s motorcycling community has come out in large numbers to amplify the message of Save our Soil,” said Arjun Raman, the organizer in chief of the race Mr. Raman, Associate Vice President of Wipro, who regularly volunteers for such causes The ride was launched from the iconic Wilson College at 8 a.m. and ended at Bandra Fort Garden around 11 a.m. The ride also called for people to sign up as ‘Earth Buddies’ and in turn spread awareness to the masses about the dying soil.

“Sadhguru travels 24 countries by bicycle alone to raise awareness of the impoverished state 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 doubt I would stay away. Every living person has a responsibility to support this vital cause for the harmonious existence of our species. I’m trying to do my part and anyone who knows this should do too. Every voice counts,” said Aditya Jeswal, 47, an architect from Mumbai.

Sadhguru is currently on a 100-day, 30,000 km solo motorcycle journey through Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East as part of the Save Soil Movement. He is meeting with world leaders, scientists, environmental organizations, soil experts and other stakeholders to push for urgent policy-driven action to save soil from extinction.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has warned that desertification could lead to a 40% drop in food production by 2045 even as the world’s population tops 9 billion. According to the UNCCD, if land degradation continues at the current rate, 90% of the planet could turn into desert by 2050 – in less than three decades.

“When I learned that more than half of the world’s agricultural soils have been degraded and that we are leaving behind a world for our children that is sure to experience a food crisis, water scarcity and loss of biodiversity, among other disasters, I (immediately) wanted to join these ground warriors and the bikers of Mumbai to help amplify the urgency of this message,” said Trifecta Capital partner Lavanya Ashok, who was part of the bikers which traveled about 18 km each covering Girgaum Chowpatty, Priyadarshini Park, Shivaji Park and Bandra Fort Garden.

The Save Soil movement has garnered widespread support across the globe, with Azerbaijan recently joining the growing list of countries that have signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) with Save Soil as a commitment to implement policies. Sadhguru will address COP 15 tomorrow May 9 and May 10. COP15 should inspire member countries to take concrete action as the planet races against time to halt and reverse the 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 our planet. It’s before all, a popular movement. The aim is to demonstrate the support of more than 3.5 billion people (more than 60% of the global voting population) around the world and to empower governments to take political action to revitalize soils and stop degradation. World leaders, influencers, artists, experts, farmers, spiritual leaders, NGOs and citizens are vocally supporting the movement to restore Humanity’s relationship with the Soil.

Website: savesoil.org

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Posted: Sunday 08 May 2022, 18:17 IST

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