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Amritsar

This page has not been updated since June 2014.


Amritsar is one of nine cities and 22 organisations and faiths that were founding members of the Green Pilgrimage Network. The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) and the City Administration both committed to making their pilgrimages and city greener.

It is home to the Golden Temple, the most sacred place for the Sikh faith, which houses the original, handwritten copy of the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book of Sikhism as well as the immortal throne enshrining the supreme Sikh religious authority.

Assisi: Princess Michael of Kent; The Hon Mrs Sara Morrison, VP Emeritus of WWF Int; Dalmegh Singh, Secretary of SGPC; Dr Rajwant Singh, chairman of SCORE; KS Pannu Head of Punjab Pollution Control Board.
Each day, a hundred thousand visitors from all over the world come to the Golden Temple: that’s 30 million visits each year. They make devotional offerings in the temple, bathe in its holy waters and to share in the communal meals freely provided to everyone, in accordance with Sikh customs of hospitality.

Green Pilgrimage Actions

Plans include to:

-- provide organic and pesticide free food to the millions of pilgrims fed each year

-- provide safe drinking water in all the 15 historical Gurdwaras or temples in the city and its surrounds

-- introduce a strict ban on plastic bags

-- install solar water heaters and promote green energy

-- expand the programme of giving out saplings to pilgrims. 10 million have been given already

-- introduce eco-rickshaws

-- celebrate Diwali with fewer fireworks

Sikhs in Amritsar making Nagar Kirtans greener
-- celebrate Sikh Environment Day every March 14

PROGRESS SO FAR

** In 2012 Sikh environment group EcoSikh worked with Amritsar stakeholders to set up a high profile action group called EcoAmritsar. They have already put many changes in place, including making Nagar Kirtans, Sikh processions on important days, much greener.

**In April 2012 the Minister for New and Renewable Energy proposed a sophisticated solar cooking system to cook meals at Sri Guru Ram Das Langar hall at Amritsar's Golden Temple complex, sacred to all Sikhs. The plan is for as many as 30 solar concentrating dishes to provide steam for cooking about a tonne of dal per day. The system would have a hybrid boiler to help generate steam during cloudy and rainy days. The project would halve the consumption of LPG cylinders from 100 per day to 50.

Such systems have already been installed at Tirupati temple, Sai Baba Temple at Shirdi and Brahma Kumari Ashram at Mount Abu. SGPC secretary Dalmegh Singh, who was at Assisi in November 2011, has studied the solar cooking system at Sai Baba temple at Shridi. He told reporters that the entire energy requirement of the Golden Temple was around 300 kW.

** In October, 2013 EcoAmritsar started an initiative for Nagar Kirtans that will provide rubbish bins and information to stall-holders, as well as organising teams of volunteers with EcoAmritsar bands, T-shirts, gloves and rubbish bags (and even a donated rubbish cart) to clean up afterwards. The aim is to leave the streets CLEANER than before the Nagar Kirtan, so the procession was actually a blessing.

Links

Sikh Environment Day an amazing success

Green Pilgrimage Network handbook

Ecosikh website

Fundraising for Amritsar and Ecosikh


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Related information

Sikh Faith Statement
A formal statement of Sikh beliefs about creation and ecology: "The name “Sikh” means disciple or learner of the Truth."
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