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News from the 8th World Sikh Environment Day 2018

May 12, 2018:

Interaction session on the environment. Fatehgar Sahib. PHOTO: ECOSIKH

We've just heard from our friends at EcoSikh that this year's Sikh Environment Day was the biggest ever.

It was celebrated by 5,100 Sikh Gurdwaras, institutions, schools and communities in 13 states across India and all over the world (in at least 12 countries) on March 14, more than any other years since it began in 2011.

March 14 is an important day for Sikhs as it marks the Gurgaddi Diwas (Enthronement Day) of the seventh Sikh Guru, Guru Har Rai, who is remembered for his love for nature and care for animals.

The Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) which runs many gurdwaras in India was a key part of the celebrations. One of its initiatives was to introduce leaf plates and starch-made bags in Harmandar Sahib, Amritsar (the Golden Temple), replacing plastics and similar, which have started to litter the whole city in recent years.

Since the first Sikh Environment Day many thousands of trees have been planted, gardens revived, flower shows held, distribution of boota prasad, bicycle rallies by youth groups conducted, katha kirtans in Gurdwaras, organic langar and organic food stall setups, green kitty party, imagining a day without water, painting competitions, clean ups, green hola mohalla and many more grassroot work had been done by individuals, communities and institutions for protection of our environment.

Some of the many great things that happened this year

Cycle Rally for Sikh Environment Day PHOTO: ECOSIKH
* a song named “Kudrat” was released by youngsters of Ludhiana to awaken people to the importance, for Sikhs, of protecting nature because it is sacred.

* A plantation drive was carried out in National Forest, Derby, Lakhi Jungle in Bathinda and tree maintenance in the Mui Wo area of Hong Kong.

* Other plantations were done by Satnam Sarb Kalyan trust, Guru Nanak Multiversity, Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle and many institutions across the world.

* Two Cycle rallies were carried out in Mohalli, one in Ludhiana, KotKapura, Rajasthan, and Bathinda.

* Plants were distributed as boota prashad in Dubai Gurdwara, in UK, at Hola Mohallas, many organisations, Blood donation camps and schools and gurdwaras.

* Gurmat samagams and Green Diwaans were held in many gurdwaras. In Bangalore, Sangat recited Kirtan and did Katha dedicated to Guru Har Rai Ji and Sikh Environment Day by sitting together in Cubbon park.

* Organic Food stall was put up by Kalgidhar Sewak Jatha in Chandigarh and Organic Langar was organized in Sweden, at Gurdwaras in Stockholm.

* Organic theme based kitty party was celebrated setting a new trend to minimize wastage.

* Organic Mandi was organized to celebrate Sikh Environment Day.

* Clean up at Victoria Fresno, Gurdaspur, Bathinda, Chennai and Ludhiana and Street parchar was done by putting up stalls.

* In Ludhiana, a colony gurdwara has bought steel thalis for social functions to avoid use of Styrofoam. Basics of Sikhi team have actively participated to spread out the message of saving the environment by carrying out activities with the kids.

* In Nabha, Gurdwara Sahib has decided to donate 5% of the golak amount for environmental cause.

* A calligraphy workshop was carried out dedicated to “Pavan Guru Pani Pita, Mata Dharat Mahat” followed by interaction session with the students conveying the importance of air, water and land.

* The Leeds Gurdwara in Yorkshire, UK, held a smoothie making healthy eating session, Shabad kirtan session, and arts and crafts, symbolically using household waste materials.

* In Norway, Sukhmani sahib path, katha- kirtan based on Environment followed by seed prasad was done to help those who want to create an organic garden in their own home.

Outreach via Social Media

This included
1. At least four radio shows
2. More than 30 TV Shows Outreach
3. News coverage in more than 150 India and International outlets
4. Twitter, Instagram, Whatsapp
5. Post engagements – at least 203,500
6. Facebook Reach – nearly one million (910,000)

Teams formed during Sikh Environment Day

Included people from:
1. Rajasthan
2. Moga – rode
3. Amritsar - Tarsikka
4. Kapurthala
5. Jalandhar
6. Nabha & Patiala
7. Bathinda – Guru Har Raipur
8. Chennai
9. Ambala
10. Delhi
11. Gurdaspur


For more details:

Article April 2018 in Faith Initiative Magazine

A record-breaking Sikh Environment Day 2017

Toolkit for SED 2018

Click to register for Sikh Environment Day 2018

Link for a presentation created by UK gurdwaras for SED 2018

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What does Sikhism teach us about ecology?
A brief summary of Sikh teachings on the environment
Sikh Eco Quotes
Inspiring quotes and stories from the Sikhs
April 19, 2018:
Penguin India publishes important new book on Hinduism and Nature
We have just received our copy of Hinduism and Nature by historian, environmentalist (and good friend of ARC) Dr Nanditha Krishna. It is about the mythical stories and religious significance of India's varied landscapes. And how those stories are one of the things that can and might protect India's animals and places from the bulldozers of progress.