Governor’s address at the launch of Rally for Rivers and inauguration of the First Tree Plantation Conclave
Address by Shri CH. Vidyasagar Rao, Governor of Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu at the launch of Rally for Rivers and inauguration of the First Tree Plantation Conclave at Raj Bhavan, Mumbai at 7 pm on Sunday 17th September 2017
Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, Shri Devendra Fadnavis, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Bharat Ratna Shri Sachin Tendulkar, Shri Sudhir Mungantiwar, Hon’ble Minister of Forest, Planning and Finance, Smt Pankaja Munde, Hon’ble Minister for Rural Development, Women and Child Welfare, Raje Ambrishrao Atram, Minister of State, Smt Shaina N C, people’s representatives, Shri Vikas Kharge, Secretary, Forests, Shri R.P. Singh, distinguished invitees, officials, Isha Volunteers, sisters and brothers,
I am extremely happy to extend a warm welcome to Sadhguru and to all of you to Raj Bhavan.
It is a great coincidence that we are rallying for rivers in the majestic presence of the Arabian Sea which has encircled this Raj Bhavan from three sides !! I am also happy that the First ever Plantation Conclave is being held today.
September 17 also has a great significance for the people of the old Hyderabad State, which included – among others – the present 9 districts of Marathwada. It was on this day in the year 1948, that Marathwada was liberated and the National Tricolour was hoisted in the entire region. I congratulate the people on the occasion of Marathwada Liberation Day. The occasion is more appropriate as we are setting on a mission to liberate our rivers from encroachments and pollution.
Today also happens to be the birthday of Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi Ji who had personally blessed the work of Sadhguru on the day of Mahashivarathri.
I extend my heartiest congratulations to Sadhguru for conceiving, launching and leading-from-the-front the extremely timely Rally for Rivers, to rejuvenate and revive our rivers.
It is indeed creditable that Sadhguru is himself driving the entire distance of 7000 kilometers from Kanyakumari to the Himalayas, covering 16 States. I would like to especially thank him for including Maharashtra in his itinerary.
I also congratulate the Hon’ble Chief Minister for extending wholehearted support from the State Government to the campaign, which I am sure will benefit the whole of the State.
I wish to place-on-record my deep appreciation for the Forest Department led by Shri Sudhir Mungantiwar Ji for joining hands with the Isha Foundation to substantially enhance the green cover in Maharashtra. The Plantation Conclave is an excellent initiative.
I am sure, this partnership between Isha Foundation and the Government of Maharashtra will become a people’s movement for sustainable development leading to sustainable future.
I am very happy that India’s cricketing icon Shri Sachin Tendulkar is in our midst. I am sure, his support will encourage more youths to associate themselves with the campaign to save our rivers and plant more trees.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Rivers are the arteries of our nation. If rivers die, if rivers pollute and if rivers develop blockages, the existence of human societies will be endangered. Saving rivers is not an option. It has become an imperative.
India has emerged as the most youthful nation in the world. Maharashtra alone has a population of 112.3 million which is more than four times the combined population of Australia and New Zealand put together. At least 65 per cent of this population is youth. If we can utilize this youth power in our mission, nothing can stop us from reaching our goal.
In my capacity as Chancellor of 20 Universities in Maharashtra and further 20 more universities in Tamil Nadu, I have already asked Vice Chancellors to join hands in this endeavour to save our rivers and increase the green cover. All universities are preparing their action plan.
In Tamil Nadu, we have launched the ‘One Student One Tree’ Scheme for university students. In a similar manner, I have requested all vice chancellors in Maharashtra to implement this scheme, One Student, One Tree.
If a student plants and nurtures one tree for three years during the period of his graduation, the same should be reflected on his degree certificate.
Today I wish to assure Sadhguru that millions of university students from Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu are at his disposal for the implementation of the Rally for Rivers scheme and for the tree plantation drive.
We have been witnessing flooding in many parts of the country. Apart from global warming, neglect of our rivers is certainly one of the causes for flooding.
It is hard to believe that the city of Mumbai alone has five rivers in and around – Dahisar River, Poisar River, Mithi River, Oshivara River and Ulhas River. Nagpur has its own river – the great Nag river. Nashik has the holy Godavari river while Pune has Mula and Mutha rivers. Likewise there are scores of rivers and tributaries in Maharashtra. These rivers are lifelines of our people. Today we have turned our rivers into drainage lines. If we don’t save these rivers, they will threaten the very existence of our cities, towns and villages. Cleaning of rivers is also a part and parcel of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Rivers do not drink their own water.
Trees do not eat their own fruit.
Clouds do not swallow their own rain.
What great ones have is always for the benefit of others. (Unquote)
Unfortunately, human beings are eating up trees. It is again human beings, who are drinking rivers without caring for them. In a way we are killing our silent benefactors. That is why the Sadhguru has started this Bhagirath Prayatna of to save our rivers and to save Planet.
Let me assure you, Sadhguru, the gates of Raj Bhavan are always open for you. You all have all my best wishes in your noble endeavours. I congratulate the Forest Department and convey my best wishes for the success of the first Plantation Conclave.
Jai Hind ! Jai Maharashtra !!