`Sikhs urged to mark March 14 as Sikh Environment Day`

Guru Har Rai was instrumental in developing Kiratpur Sahib on the banks of a tributary of the river Sutlej in Punjab as a town of parks and gardens.

Updated: Jan 29, 2012, 12:00 PM IST

Washington: A US-based Sikh body engaged in highlighting environmental issues facing the world has appealed to the community members across the globe to mark
March 14 as `Sikh Environment Day`.

In a statement, Washington-based EcoSikh said that it has set the goal of enrolling more than 700 Sikh institutions and gurdwaras all over the world to celebrate March 14 -- the day when Guru Har Rai became the seventh Guru of the faith in 1644 -- as Sikh Environment Day.

EcoSikh urged them to start signing up on January 31, the birth date of Guru Har Rai, who is remembered for his sensitivity to nature and his passion for preserving it.

This year, it also plans to approach Sikh-owned businesses to join in this endeavour.

"It`s great to start this campaign on the auspicious day of Guru Har Rai`s birthday. Last year over 450 Sikh bodies all over the world marked the day with various thoughtful actions and celebrations and this year we are audaciously setting the
goal of 700," said Rajwant Singh, President of EcoSikh.

"Guru Har Rai ji inspired Sikhs to care for nature and his life lifts us towards ecological consciousness precisely when earth is facing dire circumstances due to human carelessness. We have no choice but to walk on the footsteps of this great man and leave minimum footprints," Singh said.

Guru Har Rai was instrumental in developing Kiratpur Sahib on the banks of a tributary of the river Sutlej in Punjab as a town of parks and gardens. He planted flowers and fruit-bearing trees all over the area, as well as medicinal herbs and wildlife sanctuaries for the benefit of the masses in the 17th century, making him perhaps the earliest environmentalist in the Indian subcontinent.

PTI