Chandigarh, February 23, 2013: Prominent Sikh personalities came together to announce major initiatives on the environment and endorse the upcoming Sikh Environment Day on March 14th. This marks the coronation day of 7th Sikh Guru, Guru Har Rai, who is remembered ifor his deep sensitivity to nature.
EcoSikh, an international Sikh group, designated March 14th as Sikh Environment Day to create awareness about Sikh teachings on nature preservation. Hundreds of Sikh Gurdwaras, schools, colleges, businesses and institutions across the world have joined in this effort.
Dr. Rajwant Singh, President of EcoSikh, joined from Washington declaring the target of EcoSikh this year. He said: “Our audacious goal of having 1,500 Sikh organizations celebrating Sikh Environment Day is getting tremendous boost from all over the world and in all continents. This will be the largest direct Sikh action day on environment. Hundreds of Sikh young people are showing their enthusiasm to be involved for the betterment of society.”
“The Hazur Sahib Committee along with Nanded Municipal Corporation is initiating local deluxe bus services for pilgrims and locals, as step one of towards Green Pilgrim City Nanded”, declared D P Singh Chawla, CEO of Sri Hazur Sahib Committee.
“This is the first major move towards making Nanded more eco-friendly and promoting public transportation which reduces carbon infusion in the atmosphere, the leading cause of global warming.” He further added, “The Gurdwara buildings are incomplete if they lack green patches and eco-friendly features and we are increasing greenery around Takhat Hazur Sahib and the surrounding Gurdwaras of the city.”
Bhai Manjit Singh, proprietor of a leading plants nursery, Ganga Nursery, Zirakpur, has started a major push, in collaboration with SGPC, to revive Naulakha Garden of Guru Har Rai ji in Kiratpur Sahib, to be completed on March 14th.
Bhai Manjit Singh said, “Guru Har Rai ji planted many herbal and medicinal plants in Kiratpur and he was known to have dispensed these healing aids to the people. It is the duty of every Sikh to revive similar healing habitats around the sacred grounds of Kiratpur Sahib and this will be our humble homage to this great Guru.”
His nursery has also taken up the service to increase green patches around the famous and most visited sacred sites namely Fatehgarh Sahib, Paonta Sahib and Kiratpur Sahib.
Colonel Kuldip Sandhu, senior general manager of AIPL Ambuja, a leading business institution in northern India, and founders of the Dream City in Amritsar, said, “Environmental consciousness has to reflect in all aspects of our living and it is due to this commitment we have tried to incorporate green spirit in our business operations. As followers of Guru Har Rai ji, while celebrating Sikh Environment Day, it is a day that reminds us to maintain all our businesses in alignment with Guru’s thinking. Sikh businesses and industrialists must come forward and join this movement.” AIPL has been incorporating water saving and other eco-friendly features in all their townships.
Ravneet Singh, India Program Director of EcoSikh said, “Our vision for the 3rd Annual World Sikh Environment Day is to cut down the use of styrofoam and other disposables from our Gurdwaras and nagar-kirtans. The general public is not aware about the harmful effects of using styrofoam – known as thermocol in Punjab. Switching back to traditional steel thalis will also reduce the amount of garbage in our cities. We appeal to the Gurdwara Parbandhaks to pioneer in making their Gurdwaras plastic free and declare their Gurpurabs clean and green.”
“We are thankful to Akal Takhat Sahib and Takhat Sri Hazur Sahib who have come forward instructing Sikhs to celebrate this day. Last year Gurdwara Behala in Kolkata was rewarded by the Telegraph News for their brilliant action on Sikh Environment Day. EcoSikh website is now the prominent portal for any environmental initiatives by the Sikhs and we are thankful for community’s support.”
“800 schools will have a ten minute presentations and environment pledge on Sikh Environment Day across Punjab”, declared Jaspreet Kaur, Project Coordinator of Guru Nanak Multiversity Educate Punjab Project.
“Our organization has been operational for moral studies in the schools of Punjab we are targeting around 800 schools to celebrate Sikh Environment Day this year in partnership with Satnam Sarv Kalyan Trust, Chief Khalsa Diwan and EcoSikh. We are confident this day would help in sensitizing our young buds and craft environment stewardship in them. The best way is the Guru way.”
Harjit Singh, Secretary General of Chandigarh Gurdwara Association are also planning for a collective action from the associated Gurdwaras to celebrate Sikh Environment Day and also to reduce the use of disposables in their premises.
EcoSikh’s initiative got a major boost by SGPC, DSGMC and all the Takhats giving a supportive call to the entire Sikh community worldwide to observe Sikh Environment Day. The SGPC this time has dedicated a special programme at Manji Sahib Diwan Hall, at the Golden Temple to Sikh Environment Day which will be live on PTC on the eve of March13. Over 35 Gurdwaras are also planning observation of this day in Pakistan.