Amritsar, June 23, 2022 (Yes Punjab News)
Washington based organization, EcoSikh, to plant 450 Guru Nanak Sacred forests in Amritsar in the next 5 years to mark city’s 450th anniversary in 2027. EcoSikh will be launching a five-year campaign on June 27, 2022, the 445th Amritsar Foundation Day, to tackle the grave environmental crisis the city faces. The campaign titled “Eco Amritsar 450” will engage the civil society, educational institutions, diaspora community, religious and the governmental bodies.
Amritsar is Punjab’s leading city with enormous religious, cultural and historical significance. The founding stone of Amritsar was laid by Guru Ramdass Ji, the fourth Guru of Sikhs in 1577. It hosts Sri Darbar Sahib, Amritsar and many other religious shrines of significance to various faiths.
In recent years , the city has suffered from degrading air quality and depleting groundwater resources. There is also a severe lack of systematic waste management and infrastructure to make it sustainable.
Dr Rajwant Singh, Global President EcoSikh said “Amritsar has over 100,000 visitors and pilgrims coming to the city on a daily basis and the impact can be seen in the surrounding environment, from the strain on water and food resources to the extra energy used and the additional waste and litter created. It is critical that we take measures to conserve natural resources and plant forests to stop the environmental degradation.”
He added, “We are confident that everyone will join this cause. It is important that we save this city’s glory for future generations.”
Supreet Kaur, President of EcoSikh India, said, “The green cover of the Amritsar city has shrunk significantly in recent years and many trees have been cut in recent times without being replaced. Planting forests will also help the city to fight the devastating impact of the climate change.”
Charan Singh, Forest Convener of EcoSikh, said, “Amritsar is revered by so many people across the world and we want to appeal everyone that as they come to pay respect to this holy land, they must also care for its sustainability.”
He said “we urge the civil authorities and residents to join us in this effort.
In last 38 months, EcoSikh has planted over 400 forests as a part of its target to plant 1 million trees celebrating the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak. It has also planted a few forests in Amritsar. Trees planted via Miyawaki methodology in these forests are of native species and they attract biodiversity and shown to improve the ecology of the area including lifting the water table.
In the past from 2012 – 2017, EcoSikh led a campaign Eco Amritsar to create awareness about the environmental challenges facing the city. It had lobbied SGPC to make the Darbar Sahib langar go organic.
EcoSikh was founded in 2009 in collaboration with United Nations Development Program. Recently EcoSikh represented at Vatican summit called by Pope and at Glasgow COP26. It has been invited by the White House, United Nations and is working with the World Economic Forum.