Dr. Rajwant Singh, President of EcoSikh said, “This step will help to stop the disastrous pollution of Punjab’s land and water due to over usage of pesticides and chemicals. It is important that the drive to eradicate poisonous food consumption starts from our religious places. The tradition of langar since the time of Gurus was to provide nutritious and healthy food to underprivileged and downtrodden. Langar must always be focused on promoting health besides being a major tool to practice and promote equality.”
EcoSikh had worked closely with SGPC to start organic farming for Darbar Sahib (Golden Temple). Dr Rajwant Singh added, “We appreciate that SGPC has increased organic farming for the Golden Temple langar from 5 acres to 12. We would request them to start a similar initiative for other Takhts too.”
Since 2010, EcoSikh has facilitated the celebration of Sikh Environment Day marking the Gurgaddi Diwas (enthronement day) of Guru Har RaiSahib , who became the 7th Sikh Guru in 1644. He was known in history to have deep sensitivity for nature and animals and had asked his followers to care for the environment. This year, over 5000 Sikh Gurdwaras and educational institutions celebrated this day by taking steps towards environmental conservation in India and in several other countries across the globe.
Parminder Pal Singh Khalsa, EcoSikh’s Jalandhar representative and head of the Sikh Sevak Society international said, “Providing Organic langar at Gurdwaras will help struggling farmers in Punjab to switch to healthy farming and it will help them economically. So many small farmers are committing suicide due to financial hardships and also because their farming is no longer sustainable. Switching to organic will bring much needed profit for them to survive.”
EcoSikh has also started a major plantation drive this year called Guru Har Rai Rukh Lagao Lehar. Over 800 trees have been planted in Punjab and worldwide. EcoSikh India President, Supreet Kaur, said, “Punjab which has a mere 3.5% of forest cover and it witnessed 900,000 trees axed in the last 5 years so first priority should be to ensure that a well planned strategy is put in place to increase the forest area in the state. She added, “EcoSikh is ready to help and will encourage other NGOs to become helpful partners in this direction provided the political leadership is serious in lifting Punjab out of catastrophic environmental disaster. As Punjabis, it is our duty to uphold the principles of living in harmony with nature as taught by Guru Har Rai ji.”