“I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones”, said Albert Einstein, in an interview with Alfred Werner in 1949. His focus was on the means of warfare as the first 2 world wars were fought primarily over land, but it has been widely speculated that the next few wars will be fought over water. Dozens of Op-eds and articles have been written analysing the problem but the solution seems to be nowhere in sight.
Pic 1.Water being rationed at Durban on specific days
In the summer of 2018 when our Indian Cricketers reached South Africa, they were in for a complete surprise .The dipping underground water level and the dangerously shrinking dam level had resulted in Cape Town pressing the panic button by enforcing crisis Level 6 water restriction which meant that our Cricket Superstars, were asked to not shower for more than 2 minutes. Tough new restrictions had been imposed with the objective of making every drop of water count. The situation was described by locals as “Living with two oceans on each side but still no water.”
Pic 2: Durban (South Africa) Kids trying hard ways to get drinking water.
Around the same time, in January 2018, a very interesting incident occurred 8000 Kms away at Raghavendra Goushala at Malur near Bengaluru. A 1200 feet deep bore-well which had been bone dry for more than a decade suddenly sprouted water, over joying everybody. The Goushala had been using water tankers for its needs and this came as a godsend. But how did this miracle happen? In July of 2016, Team Gopals and many volunteers along with families worked tirelessly to plant around 700 saplings in and around the goushala (http://wegopals.com/knowledge-series/2017/11/22/jeevamrutha-is-devamrutha). Team Gopals carefully nurtured the saplings ensuring adequate water supply and monitored their growth. Our efforts bore fruit in just 6 months. The bore-well now yields copious water; such has been the water table increase!!
Pic 3: Hand pump at Raghavendra Goshala,Malur.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has repeatedly urged all states in the country to follow the example of Sikkim, which set an example by moving towards organic farming back in 2003. Organic farming has been growing in popularity and Desi cow urine/dung are always an essential part of organic fertilisers. A recent study said the organic food sector is growing at about 20% in India, with more than 100 retail organic outlets in Mumbai and about 60 in Bengaluru.
Pic 4: Organic Product Exhibition @ Gangtok
D.L.N. Rao, a scientist who specialises in bio fertilisers at the Indian Institute of Soil Science, Bhopal says that Cattle urine has always been mixed with cow dung and used as fertiliser. The uric acid in urine when mixed in soil can serve as a source of urea and nitrogen, says Muneshwar Singh, a soil and fertiliser scientist at the IISS, Bhopal.
The wealthy can afford to grow their own organic vegetables in land meant only for that purpose but what about the people at the end of the spectrum? Hence organic farming must be adopted by all farmers, and desi cow being the mainstay of organic farming, its importance has to percolate into the minds of people living in the remotest parts of our country.
Pic 5: Ready for Grazing ! Cow & GoPals Mysore Team
Such is the importance of the cow that 20% of our land is dedicated for cow grazing by our Shastras. The British took over this land and misused it by giving it to their cronies who in turn justified it by saying what we today bandy about as ‘development’. Bengaluru is a typical case study of ‘haphazard development’ having lost so many lakes during the past decades. Bengaluru had 5000 bore-wells in 1973, today the number stands at 45 lakhs!!
Our Ancient temple ponds/lakes were recharge systems where in Desi cows would naturally graze around drinking temple/village pond/lake water providing natural manure to the soil around resulting in natural fertilizers to trees, crops and plants. When more trees grow in an area it results in formation of dense clouds and pulls the rain to the ground during season resulting in normal monsoon activity. Also, a famous mantra starts with “Gandhadvaram duradarshaam nityapushtaam kareeshineem”. Kareeshineem is the white froth like substance which is seen on the top of fresh desi cow dung. It is reputed to attract rain from the clouds. Such is the Mahima/glory/power/importance of cow dung!!
The absence of grazing land for the cows and the absence of Desi cows itself plus the disastrous overuse of fertilisers has led to drought like situations in various parts of the country, with the land becoming barren and unfit for use. This ‘climate change’ can be fought only when we understand the root cause of the problem viz. replacing cows/bulls by tractors, viewing our cows through greedy eyes only as milk delivery agents, not using cows for farming activities that involves ploughing, not using manure of cows for lands resulting in decay in soil, which has a bad effect on the land and overall climate of the region.
Till 1975, our parents/grandparents staying in villages did not feel the need to use footwear on mud paths even during peak summer. We cannot walk on the same soil now without blistering our feet. How do we fight this climate change without addressing the root causes? Residents of Ulhasnagar, Mumbai swear by their early morning 20 minute walk in fresh cow dung, which has therapeutic properties. But climate change can be effectively fought only when we make use of the naturally available things suitable for that climate eg: sahiwal cows for Punjab, Hallikar cows for Mysore or Bengaluru, Vechur cows for Kerala.
Pic 6: Indian Breed Gou
Substitute Vechur cows with Gir in rain drenched Kerala or Agumbe and we see contrary results. Similar Substitution of Gir by Vechur in Gujarat will not work. Same with seeds also. We should use seeds which are available from harvest and preserved for next harvest taken from the one cultivated already. This is our traditional system. Manohar Parrikar gave us this great example
Unfortunately our farmers are forced to buy seeds from MNCs who have no idea about our culture and agricultural practices resulting in more usage of pesticides and decay of soil and land ultimately leading to destruction of the crop itself. A classic example is the failure of GMO cotton in India
Which prompted this honest sincere bureaucrat to regret his decison
But the damage has been done. Is the damage long term? Has anyone calculated the monetary extent of the losses? Will it not run into the billions of $$? But can the situation be salvaged? Yes, it can. That’s why we say ‘Jeevamruta is devamrita‘.
Gopal’s Agriculture Team co-ordinator and graduate from renowed Agriculture university in Bangalore Shri.Sandeep Manjunath testifies to the fact that even in arid land where Jeevamruta has been applied, the earthworms which went deep down into the soil, came up to the top within just a few weeks of its application. Such is the power of Jeevamruta.
Technically Desi cow’s intestine has all beneficial microbes which come out along with its dung. In Jeevamruta we multiply these microbes and apply it to the soil. After application we mulch the area applied. Mulching with leaves or paddy straw conserves moisture and also protects the microbes from sunlight. The contents of jeevamrutha attract native earthworms and due to its activity there will be millions of minute pores which will hold water for long time. Also when there is rain most of the water will percolate into the soil and this recharges the ground water table. Because of continuous application of chemical fertilizers these micro pores get destroyed and during rains all the water just flows and creates a flood like situation. If we apply Jeevamrutha these pores are again created by earthworms resulting in ecological balance. This is how we can recharge our underground water table at no extra cost.(To Know more about preparation of jeevamrutha for usage ,refer Jeevamrutha is Devamrutha in our website (http://wegopals.com under knowledge Series )
Modern method of rice cultivation wherein water is made to stagnate leading to anaerobic condition, again paving way to emission of Green house gases ( GHG). In Natural Farming due to earthworm activity soil will be porous and has good water holding capacity. There is no need of puddling (water stagnation) and thus less emission of GHG’s.
During the process of manufacturing chemical fertilizers and pesticides, Green house gases are released and even during application of these fertilizers most of the contents are lost due to its volatility resulting in damage to the Ozone layer. Ploughing just one hectare of land with a tractor requires 3-6 litres of diesel. Imagine how much fuel we are burning for ploughing the land.
One more cause for Global warming is with rearing cows for meat. Especially HF and Jersy cows which produces huge quantity of methane and releases to atmosphere. Recent study shows that Indian Breed cows can answer this problem. Our cows have unique digestive system and produces very less quantity of methane during digestion. Thus less emission of green house gases.
So we see that the benefits of Organic fertilizers far outweigh the chemical ones. Change is constant but change is good only when we bring in innovative ideas in the system to further improve ourselves with technology advancements that are used in the right areas like irrigation systems, depth of ponds/lakes and water consumption for fields. However what we are doing now is akin to putting sand in our eyes .We cannot destroy our foundation and hope to strengthen or expand our house which will result only in a collapse.
Our ancestors had a vision. Artha shastra has references to Systematic cropping patterns, irrigation system, recharge of Wells and ponds. The best way to fight climate change is using our Indian breed cow as a tool to recreate the atmosphere where in pure oxygen flows due to abundance of trees, organic plants/vegetables, planting more saplings which will result in sustainable living. Our ‘poorvajas’ have shown us the way to make the world a better place, for you and me and the entire human race to lead an peaceful disease free life living in perfect harmony with nature. The bridge is ready. We have to just cross over.
By Shri Murali ,GoPals Mumbai
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