Following the lead of the holy city of Amritsar, the city of Nanded recently became part of the Green Pilgrimage Network (GPN) at the international meeting held from July 25-29, 2013. The conference was a joint collaboration between Trondheim Nidaros Diocese, Trondheim Municipality, National Pilgrim Center and UK based Alliance of Religions and Conservation. The event was organized in the holy city of Trondheim in Norway which brought together some prominent 90 faith and secular leaders, environmentalists, city officials and other respected members of the community and provided an opportunity to engage in a dialogue for future sustainability of historical pilgrimage places. EcoSikh was represented by Ravneet Singh, EcoSikh’s India Program Manager, and Dr. Rajwant Singh, EcoSikh’s President. In addition, D P Singh Chawla, CEO of Takhat Hazur Sahib Gurdwara Board, was also in attendance to represent Nanded and take part in its official joining of GPN.
The focus for eco-planning of the city of Nanded (whose efforts will be lead by Takhat Hazur Sahib), would be on five agenda points – sewage and waste management, saving river Godawari and water conservation, green energy (solar and bio-gas), green transport/pollution control, and organic agriculture/tree plantation. Additionally, key partnerships between Nanded Municipality and various international NGO’s working on the issue of sustainability and city planning would be strategically implemented to bring about the most impact. D P Singh Chawla shared in a statement, “Hazur Sahib Committee has always welcomed all that is good for the sacred city and we promise to put all our efforts towards the greening and eco-friendliness of Nanded city. It is a high honor for us to bring the city of Takhat Hazur Sahib in this green network and offer our services to provide best sustainable resources to the devotees coming to the city to pay respects and to promote environmental awareness as propagated by Guru Granth Sahib.”
Dr. Rajwant Singh shared a Sikh prayer with the attendees at the event and added, “ We are excited to see Hazur Sahib, a revered site of the Sikhs, on the way to becoming international spot working towards Earth’s preservation.” With the recent successful celebrations of Amritsar Foundation Day on July 6th in Amritsar, Nanded is going to plan for similar initiatives in future to get the city and its people involved in taking responsibility of the environment. Ravneet Singh, who spearheaded Amritsar Foundation Day’s efforts with a dedicated team, said, “ After Amritsar, the joining of Takhat Hazur Sahib, Nanded, in the Green Pilgrimage Network, will create enormous compassion for nature in the Sikh community. We are looking forward to working with Sri Hazur Sahib Committee to initiate eco-projects in the entire city.”