25 February, 2018, Ludhiana: Washington based EcoSikh held its first ever state level volunteer induction gathering at Gurdwara Sarabha Nagar Ludhiana. The purpose of this meeting was to create a network of environmental leaders from all over Punjab who would organize activities for the betterment of state’s worsening ecology. Over 100 young and old volunteers from Amritsar, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Patiala, Jalalabad, Ferozepur, and Chandigarh gathered for the 4-hour training sessions by the environmentalists and entrepreneurs. During the session, they were given an understanding of the environmental urgency of Punjab and well-planned strategy was rolled out to engage the communities via awareness and steps to reduce wastage of water, air pollution and use of Styrofoam (thermocol) and plastic garbage at homes and places of worship.
News coverage – CityAirNews
Punjab is losing ground water at the rate of 3 feet per year, four major cities of Punjab; Ludhiana, Khanna, Gobindgarh and Amritsar are amongst the top 25 most (air) polluted cities of the world, the state is only left with 3.80% of forest cover and none of the cities of Punjab has a legitimate waste recycling scheme.
EcoSikh’s India Project Manager, Ravneet Singh who recently arrived from his UK trip stated, “The entire life on earth is suffering due to quality of air and water. Currently Punjab’s future is not safe. It was for the first time in the history that Punjab’s educational institutions were shut down due to smog in November 2017. This was a warning sign to all of us as citizens. Political leadership ought to take meaningful and remedial steps.”
“We need a unified action plan to prevent such situation and as well to create a long term sustainable plan for Punjab.” added Ravneet Singh.
Special guest from Chandigarh hydroponic farmer Somveer Singh Anand motivated the gathering with their skills as well knowledge on the subject. EcoSikh Board Member, Jaspreet Singh gave media training and the use of social media in shaping the social behaviour on environmental issues.
EcoSikh Campaign Head, Gurpreet Kaur released a yearly calendar and highlighted importance of annual Sikh Environment Day, March 14 for engaging the masses with various activities like plantations, bicycle rallies, organic langar, seminars and recycling programs.
Dr. Rajwant Singh, Global EcoSikh President from Washington, joined live via internet to share his motivating words. He emphasized that each of the Punjabi home should have one sensitive environmentalist to lead the way. He said, “Young people of Punjab and India need to see that worsening environment is going to affect them and the next generation and their activism is the need of the hour.”
EcoSikh India President Supreet Kaur welcomed the esteemed trainers and the trainees and affirmed the prime mission of the event, “Every success depends on the commitment and the courage of the individual. We all need to join together and to ensure a live-able and love-able earth is passed on for our future generations.”
Since 2010, EcoSikh has organized Sikh Environment Day celebrations annually in 18 countries. Organic Langar, Youth Environmental Leadership Workshops, Organic Farmer Trainings and Organic Mandi, Green Nagar Kirtans, educational environmental movies, and Green Diwali are some of the recent signature campaigns of EcoSikh. EcoSikh has worked with international bodies like the United Nations and the World Bank. In addition, it is frequently being invited by the White House on climate change issues.