‘Encroachment of lakes, indiscriminate mining led to floods in Chennai’

Updated - March 24, 2016 01:53 pm IST

Published - December 05, 2015 12:00 am IST - COIMBATORE:

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar arriving at the Art of Living Foundation’s 35th anniversary celebration in Coimbatore on Friday.— Photo: M. Periasamy

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar arriving at the Art of Living Foundation’s 35th anniversary celebration in Coimbatore on Friday.— Photo: M. Periasamy

The impact of torrential rain in Chennai could have been minimised had the lakes not been encroached upon and rivers not mined indiscriminately, said Sri Sri Ravi Shankar of the Art of Living Foundation. The sand mafia made things far worse and was the cause for greater damage in Chennai, where lakes were interconnected, said the spiritual guru. He was addressing a press meet in Coimbatore on Friday.

Nevertheless, it was not the time for political blame game; it was time for people to come together to provide the maximum help possible. His organisation had collected 500 tonnes food grains and despatched 150 tonnes. It had stocked the rest in Vellore and planned to send it to Chennai in phases in the next few days. Likewise, volunteers from his organisation were also providing relief.

The immediate need was to provide food and clothing to the flood-affected people, but the long-term goal was to remove the fear in their minds. The people need to be told that everybody was with them and that reassurance should be given, he said.

A lesson that people could draw from the Chennai floods was that they needed to be more sensitive to nature. They should also protect nature. And the best way was to live in harmony with nature

To a question on intolerance, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said that there had been a few incidents but to say that the country was intolerant was wrong. On the return of awards by writers, he said both the giving and returning of awards were political.

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