March 14 is an important day for Sikhs as it marks the enthronement day of seventh Sikh Guru, Guru Har Rai, who is remembered for his love for nature and care for animals. He is perhaps the first environmentalist in the South Asia who during his reign from 1644 to 1661 started and promoted herbal gardens and wild life refuge. EcoSikh has been facilitating the celebration of this day as Sikh Environment Day since 2010.
Sikh Environment day was celebrated in more than 4100 Sikh Gurdwaras, institutions, schools and communities across the globe. Celebrations were marked in many countries and people from different walks of life contributed in creating awareness and took steps to shape a sustainable future ahead. Most of the Sikh religious as well as non-Sikh bodies from more than 15 countries, 14 Indian states and 11 states in USA celebrated this Day.
Celebrations included organizing green religious programs in gurdwaras, planting trees, bicycle rallies, marathons, cleanliness drives, painting and poster making competitions, movie shows, nature walks, kitchen garden installations, taking steps to make langar organic and much more.
Sikh Environment Day is considered as the largest global mass action on environment by a faith community. EcoSikh has also been active in organizing other initiatives on environment. Its recent green diwali campaign got a wide spread response and it has also been promoting organic langar in the gurdwaras. In addition, it focuses on promoting sustainable agriculture practices among farmers and has given leadership training to thousands of high school and college students in the Northern Indian states.
Dr. Rajwant Singh, EcoSikh Global president, said,” EcoSikh is continuously striving to engage the Sikh Community not just in Punjab & India but even worldwide to spread the message of the Sikh Gurus. We will be renewing our appeal to all Gurdwaras and Sikh institutions to increase the consumption of organically grown food in Langars which will certainly nudge the small farmers to switch to healthier agricultural practices.”