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Green Gurdwaras: Introducing Eco-features to Gurdwaras

New Delhi, 13th July 2011, Gurdwara Bangla Sahib: Prominent Kar Sewa Group have agreed to introduce eco-friendly features in Gurdwara buildings under its service and also to add green patches in the new designs for reconstruction of older Sikh structures.  This was outcome of a meeting when Kar sewa group led by Baba Sukha Singh ji and Baba Sinda Singh met with EcoSikh team at Bangla Sahib in New Delhi.  Both Baba Sukha Singh ji and Baba Sinda Singh ji along with Baba Bachan Singh ji are managing the entire massive Kar sewa operation in several religious Sikh shrines after the passing away of Baba Harbans Singh ji recently.

EcoSikh convener, Dr. Rajwant Singh paid his deep condolences to late Baba Harbans Singh ji and appreciated his self-less service .  During the discussions with Kar Sewa leaders, he listed the components of a green  and eco-friendly Gurdwara  maintaining balance with nature in line with the teachings of the Sikh Gurus.

Explaining the concept of Green Gurdwaras, Dr. Singh said, “This way of thinking is the core of Sikh theology and now it’s the time to practice the love of air, water and the mother earth as described in Guru Granth Sahib. The best place to start this drive would be to start with our own spiritual home, the gurdwaras.” He also mentioned, “We need to do this for our own well being and for our future generations and provide them a liveable earth. It is important to initiate these projects from Gurdwaras so that it is well understood and accepted by the community around the globe.”
Baba Sukha Singh ji and Baba Sinda Singh ji warmly accepted the ideas and promised to implant these features beginning from five Gurdwaras, namely Gurdwara Tokka Sahib (H.P), Kapal Mochan Sahib (Haryana), Patshahi 9 Suddhal  (Haryana), Patshahi 9 Travri (Karnal) and Sandhaura Sahib (Yamuna Nagar).
Baba Sinda Singh ji emphasized that we should mainly plant the native trees that would survive well and fruit trees which can be useful for the Sikh sangat as well and said, “the rainwater harvesting is a wonderful component to have in the Gurdwaras everywhere and we can save million gallons of water for the mother earth, every year. We need volunteers to help us to implement this concept immediately.
Prominent town planners and real estate developer  Harinder Singh from AIPL offered all kind of technical assistance in designing and implementing green ideas in future kar sewa. He said, “It will be our privilege to join Baba ji to help mother earth and also to implement the ideas of our own ancestors. We can certainly provide input on building construction and landscape designing conducive to local natural environment.
S. Makhan Singh (Retd. Punjab and Singh Bank) who started the meeting by welcoming all the participants in the meeting, said, “I want to thank the ecoSikh team for their initiative of bringing this concept of greening gurdwaras and it is equally worth noting the positive response of the  Kar Sewa committee for welcoming these new ideas in their construction programs. This certainly can show to the world that Sikhs are serious about their commitment to save the planet for all humanity.”
EcoSikh India Project Manager, Ravneet Singh presented a slide show on Green Gurdwara concept and also showed the satellite pictures of Punjab’s environment and the pollution of the waters of Punjab.”  In addition, Kar Sewa leaders accepted to add: Green Architect designing, biogas plants, green  landscapes with native fruit trees to the Gurdwara buildings , solar panels for energy source,  kitchen composting,  water re-use, environmental notice board to be created for the devotees to join in this drive and also celebrating Sikh environment day on March 14th everyday marking the coronation day of Guru Har Rai ji.
Ravneet Singh added “we hope to reach out to all Kar sewa groups in the near future to add their strength to this campaign.”
All the members of Nishkam Kar Sewa Jatha of New Delhi joined the meeting and made the commitment of supporting this drive. They have recently contributed for the construction of bathrooms in Anandpur Sahib in Punjab and Paonta Sahib in Himachal Pradesh costing crores of Rupees. Kar sewa of Late Harbans Singh did the entire construction. Committee members of Nishkam Jatha who joined the meeting  were:, S. Iqbal Singh ji, Sh. Sham Arora and  Romy Singh ji.

Bangla Sahib, New Delhi