It is Sikh Environment Day today, March 14th!
Today is also the Gurgaddi Diwas (enthronement day) of Guru Har Rai ji, the 7th Guru of the Sikh who became Guru in 1644: he was a great humanitarian who inspired Sikhs to preserve nature and promote the well-being of animals.
Hundreds of gurdwaras and schools and community groups all around the world are joining in, in what is perhaps the first time the Sikh community has been mobilized to this large extent across borders for the protection of the environment.
EcoSikh came into existence as an answer to a call by the United Nations Development Programme for religions to contribute to environmental restoration. It has been strongly assisted by the Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC) and the Norwegian Government which has funded its first two years.
* Akal Takht, the central governing authority of Sikhs has issued a statement encouraging all Sikhs to commemorate Sikh Environment Day by planting a tree today.
* SGPC has issued an order to all institutions under its administration to celebrate Sikh Environment Day.
* More than 250 gurdwaras and schools around the world have pledged by internet to join in with many dozens of others joining in without internet.
* Hola Mohalla and Anandpur Sahib are to be plastic Free next week, with the support of Giani Tarlochan Singh, Jathedar of Takhat Keshgarh and civil administrator DC, A.S. Miglani for issuing a public pronouncement of banning the use of plastics and other pollutants on Holla Mohalla.
* All other major Sikh institutions such as the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee, Chief Khalsa Diwan, Sukrit, Akal Purakh ki Fauj, Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle, Gurmat Gian Missionary College and many others have joined to celebrate this day with their individual plan of action.
* Two major Takhts, or seats of Sikh authority, and Gurdwaras from Punjab, from Maharashtra to Bengal to Assam, and over two hundred schools have signed up to celebrate Sikh Environment Day.
* Baba Balbir Singh Seechewal, a environmental hero, is also taking the initiative to mark this day with a tree plantation.”
* The celebrations are being marked across South Asia, in countries across Middle East, North America, South America, Europe, Africa, and Australia.
* In British Columbia Sikhs have made a video commemorating Sikh Environment Day
* In Connecticut, US, the Connecticut Sikh Association will be celebrating the day with plans to install solar panels in their new Gurdwara to reduce energy costs by $15,000 per year.
* In British Columbia, Canada, Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara and Sukh Sagar Gurdwara Sahib will be hosting a community environmental clean up, a tree plantation, and a plant distribution.
* In Malaysia, the Sikh Naujawan Sabha of Malaysia will be hosting an activity in the country’s forest reserves.
* In West Africa, the sangat in Nigeria will be focusing on reducing waste and on encouraging others to lead a simple life to protect the environment.
Please contact [email protected] for questions in India and [email protected] for questions about the diaspora. And please tell us how you celebrated the week of Sikh Environment Day.