10,000-Kilometer Walk Across South Africa to Promote Save Soil Campaign, International Day of Yoga

Last Updated: May 26, 2023, 04:03 IST

Save Soil is a global movement, launched by Sadhguru, to address the soil crisis by bringing together people from around the world. (Representative image: Shutterstock)

Save Soil is a global movement, launched by Sadhguru, to address the soil crisis by bringing together people from around the world

A 10,000-kilometre walk across South Africa, inspired by the global efforts of Sadhguru to save the soil of the earth, is expected to lure large numbers of participants to the International Day of Yoga (IDY) at the iconic Wanderers Stadium here on June 26.

“I took a decision after seeing what Sadhguru was doing from London to India on a motorbike, to walk 10,000 km across South Africa from my small place in Dullstroom, where I live, to raise awareness about the Save Soil campaign, said Save Soil Ambassador Tseke Nkadimeng.

Save Soil is a global movement, launched by Sadhguru, to address the soil crisis by bringing together people from around the world to stand up for soil health, and to support leaders of all nations to institute national policies and actions toward increasing the organic content in cultivable soil, according to the website consciousplanet.org.

Nkadimeng was the chief guest at an event organised by Consul General Mahesh Kumar to commemorate the International Year of Millets 2023, as declared by the United Nations General Assembly at its 75th session in March 2021 after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi first motivated it.

“We believe the walk was a successful event. One of the advantages of talking to South Africans about saving soil was introducing the South African population to yoga, which was not there before. So on June 24, I tend to believe you will see a lot of people coming through. Even on our last day, we managed to ask people to come and experience what yoga is, because I benefited from doing yoga and I believe everyone else has to benefit from that as well,” Nkadimeng said.

Consul General Kumar said the target was to set a new record with 5,000 participating in the IDY event, which has been scheduled on Saturday for convenience because the actual International Day of Yoga, June 21, falls on a weekday. Extolling the virtues of millets, Nkadimeng said that during his nine-month walk, his main diet in the mornings was the superfood.

“So I can safely say that millet kept me going. I have not lost a lot of weight and I’m still feeling quite good after the walk,” he said. Nkadimeng said maize, which is the staple food of millions of locals, will not last long because of the degradation of the soil where it is cultivated.

He said the farmers in the main maize-producing provinces of Free State, North West and Mpumalanga would have to find something else to replace maize within the next decade.

Millets come quite handy because of their long history in Africa. Research has shown that it has been planted and consumed here for over 8,000 years.

Before maize came, it was one of the staple foods, Nkadimeng said, adding that millets would grow well in the South African conditions and will also assist in preserving the soil.

The roots of millets are very good to look after the soil. I’m humbled that some of the farmers we visited have indicated that they are actually starting to cultivate millets on their farms, although unfortunately as a cover crop and for animal grazing, he said.

The millets celebration at the Consulate also featured harvest folk dances and plays by adults and children from the Bengali, Gujarati, Tamil and Malayali expatriate communities.

Kumar lauded children who had entered a video speech competition on millets as he presented prizes to them.

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)

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