July 2, 2011 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Ludhiana ( July 02, 2011): A gathering of Punjab wide meeting of environment activists , religious organizations and Industry leaders ended with forming a network to save Punjab’s environment. Washington based organization, EcoSikh hosted a environment summit which included the grass root environment organizations, activists, Government agencies, Industrialists and educationists from throughout the Punjab at Ramgariah Girls College, Millar Ganj at Ludhiana.
The main objective of this meeting was to create a network at ground level which can encourage cooperation among the various sections of the society to save Punjab’s green environment and to ensure healthy future. After initial presentations by experts on green issues, all the participants took part in discussions and agreed that creating public awareness regarding environment is one of the major tasks ahead of any worthwhile environmental work in Punjab.
A prominent environmental activist, Baba Balbir Singh Seechewal, encouraged all the participants and said, “All Sikhs of Guru Nanak are EcoSikhs and environment is a cause of helping the entire humanity (Sarbat da Bhalla) and all religions should stand up to save the Punjab to revive its green splendor and spread this message from their religious centres. He implored, “that we cannot allow fresh and pure Punjab river waters to become poisonous which is bringing so much destruction in major geographical sections of Punjab and is affecting the health of millions. The same E grade polluted water is being offered in our Gurdwaras and sorovars. All religious personalities should join to become the voice of the voiceless in Punjab.” He welcomed the formation of Punjab environment network by EcoSikh.
These natural resources are protected by law still this is happening.
Dr. Rajwant Singh, Convener of EcoSikh welcomed the participants and said, “This is perhaps the first time that so many individuals and organizations and business leaders have gathered on the issue of environment. We are thrilled with the response from all over Punjab on this issue. He added, “clean environment and clean air and water is a basic human right and everyone has the right to these basic necessity. It has become an urgent issue for the future of Punjab. No action is no longer an option and we must support each other to bringing activism in all aspects of the society.” He quoted words of Baba Farid and Bhai Vir Singh on the importance of saving environment.
A prominent industrialist Ranjodh Singh, M.D, G.S Estates, Ludhiana, inaugurated the event and encouraged the audience and said, “We have to flow like the pure water of Gangotri, though few in number, we have to march with a clear vision and well defined path. We should learn to tolerate each other and not blame different sections for the pollution of Punjab. Each one of us has the responsibility.”
Narinder Kaur Sandhu, Principal of Ramgarhia College emphasized the role of women in the environment movement. She related the earth and women for having a very big heart, and their presence will ensure a successful outcome and said, “women of the society are equally responsible to bring change in the environment of Punjab.”
EcoSikh was launched in 2009 and it works with UN and other international bodies to highlight Sikh environment and environment activism based on Sikh teachings.
Professor Joga Singh, head Guru Nanak Polytechnique college, Ludhiana shared his practical experiences with the audience that how he and his team of students had worked in Village Billa and transformed its dirty pond to a stadium and developed a low cost sewrage system in the village. He specially mentioned how the villagers participated equally to save and glorify their land. He also talked about harnessing youth energy and renewable natural energy and openly invited the audience to network with him and his student groups for any assistance on any environmental projects.
Mr. Balwinder Lakhewali, President of Nature Tree Foundation presented a slide show to highlight the role of trees in a life of man. He welcomed to share all his knowledge and skills of Horticulture and landscaping to all the audience and emphasized that native trees of Punjab should be planted in Punjab.
S. Harnav Bir Singh, a youth representative from Ludhiana declared that youth should check who to follow on any social cause. He said that they must explore Bhagat Puran Singh as their hero, a man who stood alone for the sake of Punjab’s environment. He mentioned that environment should be a part of religious vow during Amrit Sanchar among Sikhs. He said, “We should act rather complain in such an alarming situation.”
Format of the summit meeting involved all the audience in discussion and had them share their ideas and wide experiences. Each participant had the opportunity to share their knowledge and experience in the field of education. There was a sense of satisfaction that opportunity is available to access other’s knowledge to act locally in a more focused way. The audience included soil conservationists from Mohali, Doctors from Ludhiana, Organic Agriculturists from Khadur Sahib, Pingalwara and Nabha, Educationists from Ludhiana, Historians from Chandigarh, Village developers from Hoshiarpur, Ex-Sarpanch from Gurdaspur, Director of Punjab State Industrial Corporation LTD, Manjit Singh Khalsa, K.S. Benipal, Focal Point Welfare Association, Ludhiana. Religious organisations included Sukrit, Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle, Shub Karman society from Hoshiarpur , and many students from Jawaddi Taksal in Ludhiana.
Rajbir Singh of Pingalwara Trust reminded the audience of the contribution of the late environemtalist Bhagat Pooran Singh. He gave details of natural farming and how it is yielded a record breaking crop of sugarcane.
Anupam Nanda of PEDA (Punjab Energy Developmental Agency) offered to help Gurdwaras and villages to develop energy plans based on renewable resources like solar power.
Manjit Singh Khalsa, an industrialist gave commitment that his colleagues are equally motivated to join the environment movement. He said, “Each one of us are leaders and should not wait for action.”
Some other participants included Paramvir Singh Mavi, J.S. Kahlon, Arvinder Dhingra from GNE College, Mohan Singh Lotey, Principal Raja Singh, Navjot Singh of Ajoka Punjab. Sakshi Jain of Industrialist family in Ludhiana, Buta Singh from Ghurala Village, Industrialist Harbinder Singh, Iqbal Singh of Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle, Rattan Deep Chawla of Ramgarhia College, Farmers Gurdev Singh and Nirmal Singh and Organic farmer Inderjit Singh Sarhali, Rashpal Singh of Subh Karman Society, Hoshiarpur, Music Director Ravinder Singh, Ramesh Singla, a Steel Industrialist from Ludhiana.
EcoSikh is planning to collect information of all the grass roots organization in Punjab and will make it available on its website.
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