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EcoSikh Appeals Sikhs to Celebrate March 14 as
World Sikh Environment Day

Environ1 (304K)

Washington, February 6, 2018: Washington based Sikh organization, EcoSikh has appealed to Sikhs in India and elsewhere to celebrate the Sikh Environment Day on March 14, 2018 marking a tribute to Guru Har Rai ji, the 7th Sikh Guru. Sikh Environment Day has been marked since 2010 by EcoSikh to engage Sikhs to take action on nature preservation and to combat the threat of the climate change.

March 14 marks the enthronement day of Guru Har Rai who is remembered for his sensitivity for nature and for animals. He is perhaps the first environmentalist in the South Asia who during his reign from 1644 to 1661 started and promoted herbal gardens and wild life refuge and exhorted Sikhs to care for nature.

GuruHarRai (219K)

Dr. Rajwant Singh, President of EcoSikh, said, “This day reminds us to care for nature and work for the betterment of earth's environment. As Sikhs we are enjoined to see nature as a sacred and a divine gift. The world, particularly the South Asia region including Punjab, is facing a great threat due to climate change. India has lost forest area at an alarming rate in the last two decades and Punjab only has 4% forest area and it is our moral duty to take action. Sikh Environment Day is one such attempt."

He added, "Sikh community across the world has supported this in an enthusiastic manner and we are certainly hoping a bigger response this year as well."

Sikh Environment day was celebrated in more than 4100 Sikh Gurdwaras, institutions, schools and communities in India and all across the globe. Celebrations were marked in many countries and people from different walks of life contributed in creating awareness and took steps to shape a sustainable future ahead. Most of the Sikh religious as well as non-Sikh bodies from more than 15 countries, 14 Indian states and 11 states in USA celebrated this Day.

Supreet Kaur, EcoSikh India President, said, "India and Punjab has lost green spaces in the last decade at an alarming rate and Northern India has faced unprecedented pollution and smog problem which has threatened the daily lives in the recent days. This crisis has severely affected children and other vulnerable population in several states in India. It has become critically important for all communities to take steps to save the natural environment and marking and celebrating Sikh Environment Day is one way that Sikhs would do their share."

She added, "We appeal to all the gurdwaras, schools, colleges and governmental bodies to participate in this endeavor and show their seriousness to tackle the growing problem of environment which has been enveloping all of us."

Celebrations included organizing green religious programs in gurdwaras, planting trees, bicycle rallies, marathons, cleanliness drives, painting and poster making competitions, movie shows, nature walks, kitchen garden installations, taking steps to make langar organic and much more.

Sikh Environment Day is considered as the largest global mass action on environment by a faith community. EcoSikh has also been active in organizing other initiatives on environment since its inception in 2009 in New Delhi. Its recent green Diwali campaign got a wide spread response and it has also been promoting organic langar in the gurdwaras. In addition, it focuses on promoting sustainable agriculture practices among farmers and has given leadership training to thousands of high school and college students in the Northern Indian states.

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