With an aim to empower the youth and engage them in devising the environmental action plan as their personal responsibility, EcoSikh is organizing environmental leadership workshops in the educational institutions of Punjab. The EcoSikh workshops celebrate the views fostered by each individual and welcome participative measures in strategizing the action plan for environmental preservation in the light of the recent UN Paris summit on Climate Change in December 2015. A series of interactive sessions under the theme of “Why I Care?” are designed to discover the spark of kindness within, help in tracking the major issues, prioritizing them and strategizing the ideas and create a road-map of their action plan for maximum impact. The workshop also helps the participants to learn how to generalize an issue and gain maximum public support.
EcoSikh believes in contributing to the environmental preservation by involving people with a heart that feels for nature and a brain that understands the essentiality of doing so.
EcoSikh South Asia Project Manager, Ravneet Singh who got a special training for conducting such workshops from US based, Green Faith, during an international convergence of Young Environmental Leaders of Faith held in 2015 at Rome. Ravneet Singh expresses, “The level of education and employment and incapability of our Punjab state has deteriorated to such an extent that the youth is losing hope. Our workshops are intended to catalyze the youths’ energy and help them take ownership of their local issues. These workshops help their sensitive minds to flourish in their own unique way of solving the issues and uplift the stature of their land. The workshop has helped them to understand that they are the change they have been waiting for.”
The three-hour workshop with maximum 40-50 students provides them an effective platform to communicate individually and via team representations. It also enhances listening ability, understanding and appreciating others’ point of view, debate, and act and handle the customized situations which a leader would face.
So far EcoSikh team has conducted workshops at Punjabi University Patiala, GurmatGian Missionary College Ludhiana and Gurmat Missionary College Chaunta Kalan Ropar, Chandigarh University Gharuan and Lyallpur Khalsa College Jalandhar. A special workshop on Low Carbon Lifestyle was conducted at Punjab University Constituency College, Ferozepur.
Students beautifully expressed their ideas into words on the sheets and presented their personal stories and the impact on their lives. A great brain storming work was done by them for identifying the issues and finding out their corresponding solutions. Further under the topic of strategy building, they tried to trace an action plan for resolving the issue highlighted by them. They had a feeling that they are the ones who can make change possible. This workshop helped them to bring out a self-reliable person out of them.
Personal views and inspiring stories by students from various educational institutions.
Tracking the issues: The students at Punjabi University, Patiala traced few issues affecting them and their surroundings and shared their views and stories on the EcoSikh platform. Rupinder Kaur expressed her concern about allergies to the new born babies, another girl shared the diseases that are spreading in the environment and as a result, we are losing our dear ones. Few of the students belonging to the families who practice agriculture showed their willingness to start pesticide-free agriculture at their respective village lands and guide other farmers nearby.
Prioritizing the issuses: A wonderful statement was given by Nirmal Singh from Gurmat Gian Missionary College, Ludhiana regarding the importance of water. He shared that after attending the workshop he feels, conserving water was necessary and pledged not to waste water anymore and also stop others from doing so. See Below or Click here to see.
A student from Gurmat Gian Missionary collge pledges to save water
Strategy building by the team: A student from GMC Ropar, expressed his dedication for bringing change in the society without relying on funds. He said that “Guru ji has made us ‘kirti’, we can take out one-tenth (dasvandh) of our income to meet our requirements of funds and thus contribute our energy and money in bringing the change. He has set a good example showing strategy building along with his team. Click here to see.
Generalizing the issues to reach maximum people: Through Gurbani quotes, slogans, poems, and short messages students conveyed the meaning of gratefulness of nature. What the nature has given to us and what we are supposed to return back to the nature. Sukhwinder Singh from Sahibzada Jujhar Singh Gurmat Missionary College gave a beautiful message of maintaining balance in nature.
A very kind message by Miss Shabana (2nd year student, Punjabi University, Punjab) and her team. Click here to see.
Personal Experience shared by Navneet Kaur Bhullar discussing how nature inspired her in overcoming problems in her life.
How nature has inspired me – Navneet Bhullar
Feedback by workshop hosts:
- Punjabi University: Damanjit Kaur, Assistant Professor (Department of Psychology) at Punjabi University, Patiala shared her feelings. Video
- Lyallpur Khalsa College, Jalandhar – Dr. Simranjeet Singh Bains, Lyallpur Khalsa College Jalandhar expressed his views regarding Environment and EcoSikh Workshop interaction with the students.
- Sahibzada Jujhar Singh Gurmat Missionary College, Ropar: Principal Baljit Singh from GMC Ropar expressed his views at the end of the session. Video.