Amritsar, June 27, 2012: EcoSikh will launch an international campaign for Eco-Amritsar 2017, a five year plan to mark city’s 440th anniversary with the goal of making it eco-friendly and environmentally sustainable. The launch will take place on June 30th at MK Hotel in Amritsar and 150 leading personalities including SGPC President Avtar Singh Makkar and Punjab Minister Bikramjit Singh Majithia are expected to attend this event which is also the 3rd anniversary celebration of EcoSikh. Guru Ram Dass, 4th Sikh Guru founded the city in 1577 and SGPC and Punjab Government had celebrated the 400th anniversary of the city in October 1977.
EcoSikh President, Dr. Rajwant Singh informed that “EcoSikh has invited DC Amritsar and heads of religious bodies, educational institutions, hospitals, industries, NGOs, shopping malls and students groups of the city to join the campaign. Many will announce their own individual plans for next five years as the pressure on city’s natural resources is increasing with the surge of pilgrims in the recent times. We are highly encouraged by the positive response from the various stakeholders in Amritsar like Khalsa College Governing Council has announced major initiatives as part of this endeavor. We want each one to feel a sense of ownership of this project.
From Left to Right: Ravneet Pal Singh (EcoSikh),
Kuldip Singh (Punjab Pollution Control Board, Amritsar),
Dr. Rajwant Singh (EcoSikh), Col. KS Sandhu (Retd) VSM (Celebration Mall, Amritsar)
He further added, “EcoSikh is envisioning a 6 point program. It is proposing that various sections of civil society and the administration in Amritsar make commitments towards sustainable infrastructure, conserving water, recycling and better waste management, alternate energy usage, introducing public transport, increasing green cover and open spaces, and also sharing information on greening strategies.
He further stated, “Amritsar being a pilgrim city can encourage devotees to be respectful towards nature throughout their pilgrimage by minimizing waste and they will go home with constructive message.”
Ravneet Singh, India Project Manager of EcoSikh, said, “Many other pilgrim cities across the globe including Jerusalem have pledged to go green and are planning to take concrete actions. We feel Amritsar could be leading pilgrim city to take measured steps towards sustainability. We can spend money to save resources now, before it is too late. We are convinced that all Punjabis and Amritsarians will join in the Eco Amritsar campaign and it will certainly enhance the image of Punjab and will create positive impact for the Punjabis throughout the world.”
EcoSikh, a Washington based organization, has been active on environmental issues since its inception in 2009. It has started the celebration of March 14th as Sikh Environment Day marking the Gurugaddi Diwas of Guru Har Rai ji. This year this event was marked by over 1200 Sikh institutions all across the globe and many schools and colleges joining in this effort. Green Amritsar is EcoSikh's next focus. EcoSikh was launched in June 2009 in association with Sikh Council on Religion and Education (SCORE-Washington DC), Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC-UK) and United Nations Development Program (UNDP). In November 2011, Amritsar joined a worldwide Green Pilgrimage Network in Italy, with an effort spearheaded by EcoSikh.