Fatehgarh Sahib, December 10, 2016: EcoSikh shared it’s “concrete ten-point environmental agenda for Sikhs” with Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) in a conference hosted by SGPC for the upcoming 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak in 2019. Held at Gurdwara Jyoti Sarup Sahib, Fatehgarh, the conference witnessed state-wide presence from all the major environmental leaders and chairs of organisations, educational institutions, Gurdwara committees, sant samaj and nihung jathebandis. The conference was purposefully organised to declare the 2019 celebrations on Guru Nanak’s vision on environment and to receive their inputs and endorsements.
Welcoming the SGPC’s move, EcoSikh India President, Supreet Kaur shared a ten-point agenda, “Our proposed agenda is a long term strategy which will not only mark the 550th anniversary of Guru Nanak in 2019, but it will inspire millions of Sikhs and continue to drive environmental preservation in the future Sikh generations as well.” The EcoSikh proposed agenda included:Sikh
- Planting 10 historically significant trees on the name of 10 Gurus (mohallas) in the Harmandir Sahib parikarma
- Popularizing March 14 as Sikh Environment Day which will bring awareness of Guru Nanak’s environmental vision amongst the masses
- Marking the upcoming Holla Mohalla at Anandpur Sahib and other Sikh celebrations as “Garbage-Free” and green
- Creating forests at Guru Nanak’s birth place Nankana Sahib and an organic farm at Kartarpur Sahib (Pakistan) where he practiced farming for 17 years
- Groundwater recharging of water in langar washing and charan-ganga in Gurdwaras
- Energy Audits in the major historical Gurdwaras
- Popularizing organic langar in historical Gurdwaras and Vermin-composting of langar waste and green waste in major SGPC Gurdwaras in each district of Punjab
- Planting 365 x 550 trees (number of days since Guru ji’s birth) in all the Gurdwaras and associated lands
- Support the screening of short-movie based on love for nature and other campaigns by EcoSikh at educational institutions under SGPC
- Framework a special ‘Department of Environment Care’ under SGPC. To draft and implement an environment policy under the department
Newly appointed SGPC President, Prof. Badungar said that this was his first step as SGPC president to pass a resolution on environmental protection and declare a special ‘environmental committee’ under SGPC. He also made public that SGPC will observe March 14, the gurgaddi diwas of Guru Har Rai every year as Sikh Environment Day. As Guru Hari Rai was known for his love for plants and animals, the commemoration has to be special, he added. He also mentioned that SGPC will encourage organic farming and efforts will be made to serve ‘organic’ langar.
Famous environmental leaders Baba Balbir Singh Seechewal emphasized on the importance safeguarding the waters of Punjab and and SGPC’s role in curbing the stubble burning in Punjab, fireworks on Sikh celebrations, rainwater harvesting and organic farming whereas, Baba Sewa Singh ji from Khadoor Sahib shared about increasing the cover in the Gurdwaras and cities founded by Sikh Gurus.
Gurmeet Singh founder member Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle endorsed the celebration on March 14 India-wide and proposed environmental training of the Sikh parcharaks and founding a Green Gurdwara Guide as a package of green practice for Sikh institutions.
Delegations like Vice Chancellor of Sri Guru Granth Sahib World University, Dr Gurmohan Singh Walia and Principal Dr Jatinder Singh Sidhu of Mata Gujri College, were also present.