February 14: EcoSikh’s India Manager, Ravneet Pal Singh today gave a 45 minute presentation at Gurmat Gian Sikh Missionary College in Ludhiana to some 50 parcharaks, or Sikh missionaries, all of whom were keen to discuss afterwards how they can bring Sikh Environment Day most effectively to the villages where they preach and teach.
They were supported with Sikh Environment Day guides in Punjabi which will help them to involve the Sikh community in the Punjab villages.
“There were 50 parcharaks there, aged between 22 and 45 and they had so many interesting questions about how to make guards for the trees or organise clean-up drives, etc,” Mr Singh said.
There are nine key areas of action for Sikh Environment Day in the 2012 Toolkit just published by EcoSikh. These are:
1. Kirtan (hymns)
2. Katha (teachings)
3. Children’s Activities
4. Healthy Langar
5. Plastic and Styrofoam free
6. Buta Prasad (offerings)
7. Tree planting and tree care
8. Organising clean ups
9. Telling others what you have done and inspiring them.
Mr Singh said that it was easy to discuss introducing environmentally oriented kirtan and katha, both of which were very familiar elements of action by Sikh parcharaks, but that the other seven were new areas for many of the attendees. However the ideas were seen to be exciting and a good challenge.
“One of the missionaries said they would be planting 60 trees in his village on Sikh Environment Day and he would share details of how he is organising this in his village, in order to support the rest of the Parcharak team. The rest said then that they would plan with their villages what their action would be, and then submit the details online.”
Even those parcharaks who were personally less familiar with technology were confident that they would be able to work with others in their community to inform the rest of the Sikh community around the world about their actions, through the internet and the EcoSikh website.
Link here for the latest news about Sikh Environment Day 2012.
Link here to register for Sikh Environment Day this year.