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Friday, March 16, 2012

Over thousand Gurdwaras around the world celebrate 2nd Sikh Environment Day

Today is the anniversary of Guru Har Raibecoming the seventh Guru of the Sikhs (this type of anniversary is called a Gurpurab)  in 1644.  Among the aspects of his legacy that Sikhs remember today was this Guru’s love for the natural world.

19th century painting of Guru Har Rai (photo: sikhfoundation.org)

19th century painting of Guru Har Rai
Washington : As many as 1007 Sikh institutions and gurdwaras around the world celebrated March 14, the day nature and animal lover Guru Har Rai became the seventh Sikh Guru in 1644, as Sikh Environment Day.

EcoSikh, a Washington based Sikh organization, which had initiated the celebrations last year had set the goal of enrolling more than 700 Sikh institutions and gurdwaras to celebrate the day this year as compared to 450 last year.
This year it had also included Sikh run schools and Sikh-owned businesses to join in this endeavour.
Dr. Rajwant Singh, president of EcoSikh said: "It is amazing to see so much enthusiasm among Sikh masses and we believe that is perhaps the largest direct action by the Sikhs for the environment ever in the history.
"Guru Har Rai's life has inspired so many individuals to lead efforts at the local levels in India and all across the globe to take meaningful actions dedicated to this day."
Bandana Kaur, New York based programme director of EcoSikh in North America, said: "Many Gurdwaras are engaging in the local environmental issues in North America in their own localities and many are becoming eco-friendly in their operations."
Scores of young people are excited about this effort since it gives them the opportunity to relate to their faith in a unique way. South Hall based largest gurdwara in Europe has organized a major green drive on this day."
Sri Akal Takhat Sahib and Takhat Hazur Sahib in Nanded, Maharasthra, and Sikhs in several countries including USA, Australia, Canada, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Argentina, Nigeria, Kenya and UK joined in the effort to mark the Sikh Environment Day as a tribute to Guru Har Rai, EcoSikh said.

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