March for a greener Amritsar


Amritsar: With the monsoon causing the first torrential rain, citizens of Amritsar braved the weather and marched for their city. The March comprising an interfaith gathering was flagged off at 6 a.m. from Gurdwara Santokh Sar Sahib jointly by Head of EcoAmritsar Gunbir Singh, Father Vijay, Indranuj Das of the Iskcon Temple, Rajbir Singh of Pingalwara Society and representatives of Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle.

Participants of the procession included members of Chief Khalsa Dewan, Khalsa College Society, NGO’s, jatha Bhai Guriqbal Singh, Akhand Kirtani Jatha, NSSS, Baba Kulwant Singh’s sewa sangat and citizens, young and old.

After walking through much water and slush the hundreds of marchers were given a resounding welcome at Ram Bagh gardens with a Gatka performance by children of Central Khalsa Orphanage accompanied by musicians of Iskcon Hare Krishna Society.

It raised the spirits of the gathering as well as passersby at the venue of the Citizens meet.

EcoAmritsar started celebrating AFD on the onset of its campaign in 2012. The goal of the program initiated by Eco Sikh is to make a substantive change in the city by 2017, in Amritsar’s 440th year of establishment.

In its four-year journey the EcoAmritsar program has been instrumental in planting hundreds of trees of indigenous varieties.

It has started the concept of Green Nagar Kirtan, which is being emulated in India as well as overseas. Corporates and citizens are encouraged to Save, Harvest and Recycle water. Institutions are being urged to adopt energy saving devices and renewable energy alternatives.

Under the program various workshops have been conducted for nontoxic natural farming, and models created for zero garbage households and zero disposal parks. EcoAmritsar has worked with fellow stakeholders who not only adopted the EcoAmritsar program as their own, but introduced many new initiatives as well.

A special source of satisfaction is the SGPC engagement and its Organic Langar concept, Plantation programs, energy efficiency, water conservation possibilities. Annual celebrations of AFD  and  Sikh Environment Day reconnects people to the causes dear to the city.

The administration was represented by Tejinderpal Singh Sandhu, ADC who assured the congregation of their wholehearted support and appreciation.

After a thorough drenching, the gathering was served hot tea by Pingalwara Society and snacks by Avaas hospitality. Stakeholders were presented saplings for plantation and awards of recognition for efforts made during the year.

Dr. Rajwant Singh, EcoSikh chief, said that Amritsar, its greenification and sanitation, is of immense concern to Punjabis globally. The holy city established by Sri Guru Ram Dass deserves much better he said. To fulfill its agenda a dedicated team under Ravneet Singh, Project manager South Asia, as well as Gurjit Singh, Project Administrator EcoAmritsar are in place.

In his welcome address to the citizens, head of EcoAmritsar Gunbir Singh complimented the participants for their energy despite the rain. He said that he was confident that by the year 2017, Amritsar shall see a major change for the better.

Plantation projects have already begun by various Stakeholders to make good the loss over the last couple of years. Sanitation programs he stated need more commitment by the state, but the citizens need to come forward to assist by segregated their green waste, and keeping their neighborhoods clean.

Curbing wastage of water shall also be a core agenda this year.  A new hope has been generated with a delightful new team of young administrators in Municipal Commissioner Sonali Giri and Deputy Commissioner Varun Roojam who are committed to spreading goodness in the city.