New Delhi: In a major green initiative, Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) on Sunday (August 11) announced to launch a mega plantation drive to mark the 550th birth anniversary year of the founder of Sikhism-Guru Nanak Dev, by planting one lakh trees in all historic Gurdwaras and Sikh education institutions in the national capital. DSGMC has made it mandatory for all freshers at nine colleges under Delhi University and Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University (GGSIPU) Colleges/Institutes, to plant 10 trees from current academic session to celebrate Guru Nanak Dev’s love for nature, said Manjinder Singh Sirsa, the President of DSGMC.
Describing the purpose of the initiative, he said the Sikh body’s motto is to propagate Guru Nanak Dev’s hymns which Sikhs recite as daily prayer, “Pawan Guru, Paani Pita, Mata Dharat Mahat” (Air is our Teacher, Water is our father and Earth is our Mother).
It would encourage Sikh masses to protect our planet from threats posed by climate change and global warming, he said.
Mr Sirsa said with such a move, around 55,000 new environmental friendly species are likely to be planted this year by fresher students who got admission in 9 Delhi colleges run by DSGMC.
The tree plantation drive will be treated as one of their college projects and marks obtained under the project would be added in the annual result. They will be required to undertake tree plantation in college campuses, civic bodies lands around their homes or vacant government land, he said.
The DSGMC chief said the Sikh body has also asked the Sikh students to make rainwater harvesting arrangements at their houses.
He said that Sikh masses in Delhi will be engaged in greenways to reverse the environmental decline and help people reconnect with nature.
The DSGMC will also start distributing free saplings of plants and trees as mentioned in the “Gurbani” such as ‘Neem’ and ‘Ber’ along with other species, beneficial for the environment.
The free sapling of the tree will be distributed from Sikh shrines mainly Gurdwara Rakab Ganj and Gurdwara Bangla Sahib which are visited by largest numbers of devotees daily.
Adding a new dimension to the concept of “Sewa”, the DSGMC would be involving the Sikh community in the protection of the environment.
The committee will encourage various stakeholders in the coming years at large scale to develop urban forests in the national capital which will also lead to more rainfall, forest produce and also help in wildlife conservation, he said.
The DSGMC also plans to expand the programme by increasing the network in the coming year and plans to double the tree plantation target by the next five years.
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