February 1, 2014 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Amritsar, Punjab (February 01, 2014): EcoSikh, a US-based International Ecology organisation, which has been instrumental in creating awareness among Sikh communities about traditional teachings on nature preservation, and to show people how they can take positive action to safeguard nature, held a media meet to unveil plans for celebrating March 14, as ‘Sikh Environment Day’.
This day is significant since it marks the coronation of the 7th Sikh Guru, Guru Har Rai, who is known for his deep sensitivity towards nature and its preservation. Prominent Sikh personalities, preachers and industrialists came together to announce major initiatives on environment and to endorse the upcoming celebrations on ‘Sikh Environment Day’. It is noteworthy that last year, Jathedars of all five Takhats of Sikhs had marked this day to be celebrated as ‘Sikh Vatavaran Diwas’.
Dr. Rajwant Singh, President of EcoSikh, who joined the press conference from Washington said, “This day reminds us of a commitment to care for nature and other inhabitants in the World, based on the teachings of Guru Har Rai ji. We are confident that once again Sikhs in Punjab and around the world will take part in greening the planet. Our audacious goal of having 2000 Sikh organizations celebrating the Sikh Environment Day is already getting support in all six continents.We want the media to help in taking the message to as many Sikhs as possible so that they feel motivated to join in this unique celebration.”
EcoSikh also launched its Sikh Environment Day TV Promo before the media at the event. Mr. Ravneet Singh, the India Project Director of EcoSikh said, “Keeping in sync with changing times, we have created a small video which will be aired on TV channels in Punjab, India and even abroad giving a clarion call to Sikhs to observe ‘Sikh Vatavaran Diwas’ in the right earnest.” Adds Ravneet, “We will be using the time of over a month to coordinate with Hundreds of Sikh Gurdwaras, schools, colleges, businesses and institutions in Punjab and across the world to take active part in this joint effort.”
This year support has come in from Punjab’s Industry with EcoSikh Punjab Convener, Ranjodh Singh, a leading Sikh industrialist of Punjab, gearing up industrial units to implement a green drive starting with this ‘Sikh Environment day’.
According to Mr. Ranjodh Singh, “The industry and business leaders must take part in this environmental movement and play their role effectively as a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activity. They could engage hundreds of employees in industry and share practical value of saving water andenergy at their factories and at homes.”
EcoSikh this time has also roped in well known Sikh religion preachers or ‘Kathawachaks’. Bhai Amrik Singh, a well-known International Sikh preacher, said, “Climate change is the most challenging issue of our times and preachers have a special role to convey the teachings of Sikhism and of Guru Har Rai ji on this issue and inspire masses to act for the betterment of the Mother Earth.”
Around eight hundred schools across Punjab will have ten minute presentations and environment pledge on Sikh Environment Day. Jaspreet Kaur, Project Coordinator of Guru Nanak Multiversity Educate Punjab Project said, “Our organization has been operational for moral studies in over 800 schools in Punjab and we will be organizing programs in collaboration with Satnam Sarv Kalyan Trust, Chief Khalsa Diwan and EcoSikh. Our goal is to make young minds aware of how powerful they can be, and the difference they can make towards nature care.”
Switching to traditional steel thalis, tips to save water and energy, clean & green Nagar Kirtans [Sikh religious processions] and making Gurdwaras and religious ceremonies plastic free, especially in Punjab, are the key agendas of Sikh Environment Day this year. It’s pertinent to mention that EcoSikh’s initiative got a major boost by UNDP, SGPC, DSGMC and all the Takhats giving a supportive call to the entire Sikh community worldwide to observe the Sikh Environment Day. Other important Sikh representatives at the Media meet were Mr. Jatinder Singh Sandhu, President, Gurdwara Sarabha Nagar, Ludhiana, a known environmentalist and Dr Birbikram Singh, Dean (Student welfare), Sri Guru Granth Sahib University.
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