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EcoSikh Appeals to All Takhats and gurdwaras in Punjab to go Organic. Sikhs should Join Guru Har Rai Plantation Drive
September 27, 2017; Jalandhar: Washington based EcoSikh and its team in Jalandhar has appealed to all Sikh Takhats and Gurdwaras to start serving Organic langar. Dr. Rajwant Singh, President of EcoSikh said, “This step will help to stop the disastrous pollution of Punjab’s land and water due to over usage of pesticides and chemicals. It is important that the drive to eradicate poisonous food consumption starts from our religious places. The tradition of langar since the time of Gurus was to provide nutritious and healthy food to underprivileged and downtrodden. Langar must always be focused on promoting health besides being a major tool to practice and promote equality.”
Parminder Pal Singh Khalsa, EcoSikh’s Jalandhar representative and head of the International Sikh Sevak Society, said, “Providing Organic langar at Gurdwaras will help struggling farmers in Punjab to switch to healthy farming and it will help them economically. So many small farmers are committing suicide due to financial hardships and also because their farming is no longer sustainable. Switching to organic will bring much needed profit for them to survive.”
Ravneet Singh, EcoSikh Program Manager, said, “Sikh gurdwaras, schools and colleges support the economy of Punjab in many ways. Their major contribution to Punjab’s economy has never been assessed and if they were to demand organic produce, it will help stimulate small farmers to become major suppliers. In addition, we request gurdwaras to stop the use of plastic and styrofoam plates and cups and to switch to traditional biodegradable utensils. Gurdwaras and langars should not be the place where more garbage and pollution is created.”
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. This year, over 5000 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 has also started a major plantation drive this year called Guru Har Rai Rukh Lagao Lehar. Over 1200 trees have been planted in Punjab and worldwide. EcoSikh India President, Supreet Kaur, said, “Punjab which has a mere 3.5% of forest cover and it witnessed 900,000 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. 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 ji.”
EcoSikh had worked closely with SGPC to start organic farming for Darbar Sahib (Golden Temple). Dr Rajwant Singh added, “We appreciate that SGPC has increase organic farming for Golden Temple langar from 5 acres to 13. We would request them to start a similar initiative for other takhats too.