NRI Sikhs come together for Green cause in Gurudwaras By Abhijit Prashar http://punjabnewsline.com/news/NRI-Sikhs-come-together-for-Green-cause-in-Gurudwaras.html CHANDIGARH: In a major initiative, a Washington-based international Sikh group, EcoSikh, has begun preparations to observe March 14 as Sikh Environment Day throughout the world. March 14 marks the coronation day of seventh Sikh Guru, Guru Har Rai, who is remembered in Sikh history for his deep sensitivity to nature and its preservation. EcoSikh has, therefore, designated March 14 as Sikh Environment Day to create awareness about Sikh teachings on nature preservation. Hundreds of Sikh Gurudwaras, schools, colleges, businesses and institutions across the world have joined in this effort. “The Hazur Sahib Committee along with Nanded Municipal Corporation is initiating local deluxe bus service for pilgrims and locals, as step one of towards Green City Nanded,” said DP Singh Chawla, CEO, Sri Hazur Sahib Committee. He said, “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.” Chawla was of the view that the Gurudwara buildings were incomplete if they lacked green patches and eco-friendly features and they were increasing greenery around Takht Hazur Sahib and the surrounding Gurudwaras of the city. Bhai Manjit Singh, proprietor of a leading plants Nursery, Ganga Nursery in Zirakpur, has started a major push in collaboration with Shiromani Gurudwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) to revive Naulakha Garden of Guru Har Rai in Kiratpur Sahib on January 31, 2013, to be completed on March 14. Bhai Manjit Singh said, “Guru Har Rai had planted many herbal and medicinal plants in Kiratpur and he was known to have dispensed these healing aids to the masses. It is duty of every Sikh to revive similar healing habitats around the sacred grounds of Kiratpur Sahib and this will be our humble homage to the great Guru.” Bhai Manjit Singh’s 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. EcoSikh president Dr Rajwant Singh said, “Our goal of having 1500 Sikh organizations celebrating the Sikh Environment Day on March 14 is getting tremendous boost from all over the world and in all six continents. This would be the largest Sikh direct action day on environment. Hundreds of Sikh youth are showing their enthusiasm to be involved for the betterment of society. This gives us a chance to show that Sikhs care for nature and we are committed in saving Mother Earth from degradation.” The India Program Director of EcoSikh, Ravneet Singh, said, “Our vision for the Third Annual World Sikh Environment Day is to cut down the use of Styrofoam and other disposables from our Gurudwaras and nagar-kirtans. General public is not aware about the harmful effects of using Styrofoam popularly known as thermocol in Punjab. Switching to traditional steel thalis will also reduce the amount of garbage in our cities. We appeal to SGPC to pioneer in making their Gurudwaras plastic-free and declare their Gurpurabs clean and green.” EcoSikh’s initiative got a major boost by UNDP, SGPC, DSGMC and all the Takhts giving a supportive call to the entire Sikh community worldwide to observe the Sikh Environment Day. SGPC this time has dedicated a special programme at Manji Sahib Diwan Hall, at the Golden Temple to Sikh Environment Day.