Chandigarh: Washington-based EcoSikh has unveiled its four-point environmental agenda for the upcoming Government of Punjab to curb the ecological disaster of the state as part of it’s World Sikh Environment Day campaign.
Since 2010, EcoSikh has facilitated the celebration of the Sikh Environment Day marking the Gurgaddi Diwas (enthronement day) of Guru Har Rai, who became the 7th Sikh Guru in 1644. He was known in history to have deep sensitivity for nature and animals and had asked his followers to care for the environment.
Last year, over 3,500 Sikh gurdwaras and educational institutions had celebrated this day by taking steps to environmental conservation in India and in several countries across the globe.
EcoSikh is appealing to SGPC to set aside land for sacred forest in Kiratpur, Guru Har Rai’s birth-place.
EcoSikh leadership has appealed to the upcoming Punjab administration to focus its energy on 4 specific ecological challenges and its solutions.
EcoSikh president Supreet Kaur said, “Punjab which has a mere 3.5 per cent of forest cover and it witnessed 9,00,000 trees axed in the last 5 years so first priority should be to ensure that a well planned strategy is put in place to increase the forest area in the state. Second priority is to create awareness among farmers and among masses to conserve water and to ensure the industrial waste is treated before being dumped in the rivers. Third is to provide provisions and training to farmers to prevent stubble burning which is causing havoc in the health of masses all across the state and North India. Fourth is to encourage farmers with proper training to increase farming without overuse of harmful chemical pesticides.
She added, “EcoSikh is ready to help and will encourage other NGOs to become helpful partners in this direction provided the political leadership is serious in lifting Punjab out of catastrophic environmental disaster. As Punjabis, it is our duty to uphold the principles of living in harmony with nature as taught by Guru Har Rai.”
Dr Rajwant Singh, EcoSikh’s global president, stated, “SGPC should declare 100 acres of its land as a sacred forest dedicated to the memory of Guru Har Rai in Kiratpur Sahib. Kiratpur is slowly becoming associated with last rituals only where as this is the place where we need to learn how to live. Having a forest in the Guru’s memory will continue to inspire Punjabis to live with green consciousness.”
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