I was once travelling with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar by train from Delhi to Haridwar. Looking at the plastic bags and rubbish on the tracks, Sri Sri said: “Do we have someone in this district who can lead a clean-up?” As far as I remember—I have known him for 25 years—Sri Sri has always been a ‘green’ guru who believes that “throughout history, nature has been adored in India; mountains, rivers, the sun, the moon, the trees have been revered”. He started organic farming long before it became fashionable. Sri Sri, who is very fond of ‘desi’ cows, thus reached out to 1,00,000 farmers in 10,000 villages in 12 states and convinced them by saying, “One cow is sufficient to fertilise 30 acres of land. One gram of cow dung contains 300-500 crores of different bacteria useful for agriculture”. And it worked, although the Frenchman in me was very sceptical!
I recall how he tried to save many of Bangalore’s lakes, which are encroached upon by promoters, or how his Mission Green Earth initiative, in collaboration with the UN, planted 55 million trees in 36 countries and 26 states in India.