The first green camp opens at the Kumbh Mela in Allahabad
January 14, 2013:
||More than 60 million people are expected to attend the Maha Kumbh mela this year
As the 2013 Kumbh Mela opens, with more than 60 million people expected to pile into the Indian city of Allahabad over the next six weeks, one large camp has made real efforts to be green.
The Parnarth Niketan camp, headed by influential Hindu leader and avowed environmentalist, Pujya Swamiji, has from the beginning tried not only to be as green as possible, but also to pass on the green message to the millions of followers who are expected to drop in during January and February.
"Our camp is actually still being erected but there are many green initiatives in place and underway," writes Sadhvi Bhagwati, who has been one of the leaders in making the desired actions happen.
"These range from huge tree plantation programs and "sapling prasad" (e.g. rather than giving sweets to people who come for aarti, they will get saplings of trees to plant), to not using any disposable materials in our camp. For example, all dishes are steel. Water is filtered and given out in the big dispensers. We have no disposable utensils, plastic bottles, plastic bags or anything.....
Also we are organizing a big conference with the mayors of all the cities along Ganga and Yamuna.. it's focused on calling the mayors and municipal chairmen and compelling them to agree verbally and in writing to making changes in their cities.
Parnarth Niketan is a partner with ARC and our sister organisation the Bhumi Project in leading the India/Hindu chapter of the Green Pilgrimage Network, and last November hosted an important conference at the ashram in Rishikesh.
Other initiatives by the ashram at the Kumbh Mela include:
The vision is for all camps at the 2025 Maha Kumbh Mela to have green initiatives.
* a "Shakti and Prakriti" conference with Vandana Shiva and Dr. RK Pachauri on the 25th January.
* A big environmental procession on January 26th, Republic Day
* On the 20th January 5,000 students will come in from all the local schools to learn how they can make their schools and homes green.
* A green "slogan writing competition" the prize of which is being given by the Governor
* The governors of Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh coming, along with many state ministers, to take part in an eco conference on January the 19th-20th to get high level agreement of specific plans that must be implemented in these cities.
* hoardings, posters, banners, etc. with environmental messages and teachings for the masses which are being put up all over the Kumbha area and in Allahabad.
This is part of the Parmarth Niketan's innovative 6Ts project, to tackle the six key environmental issues of Trash, Taps (and fresh water), Toilets, Tigers, Trains and Trees.
Green Pilgrimage Network
Hindu/Bhumi Project Long-Term Environmental Plan.
Rishikesh workshop meeting.