EcoSikh has effectively launched the Sikh Environment Day (March 14) and over 2,000 Sikh gurdwaras, educational institutions, schools and colleges joined the movement this year. EcoSikh has also started initiatives for the city of Amritsar and Nanded in India. Suneet Singh Tuli, Chief Executive Officer of DataWinds Ltd., whose company created the world’s most affordable tablet computer, gave the keynote address. He appealed to all guests to take concrete actions to make a positive difference in their communities. “We cannot be quiet bystanders. We must right the wrong that we see. We are answerable to the future generations if we do not take care of Mother Earth. It is our responsibility,” he said.
“It’s very inspiring to see both youth and adults here tonight,” said EcoSikh North America Program Manager, Sumeet Kaur. “It is crucial to have an intergenerational audience. Our mothers and fathers care deeply about the environmental integrity of their homeland, but we must also charge Sikh youth with the responsibility to take green actions.” DJ Lucky entertained and engaged the diverse crowd.Dimple Sandhu, Outreach Director of the DC Chapter of EcoSikh, hosted the event, and introduced “the spirit of EcoSikh,” Dr. Rajwant Singh. Dr. Singh spoke about the challenges facing Punjab today. He noted that forest coverage in Punjab is less than 1 percent. He also told stories of contaminated drinking water supplies that have caused serious health issues such as cancer and radioactive poisoning. Ravneet Pal Singh, South Asia Project Manager, appealed to the audience with his speech on environmental preservation and the pointed out that often people blame developing countries for environmental degradation but it is the developed world which has caused havoc on many fronts. SikhNet, a renowned Sikh cybercommunity was honored for their work in promoting the environmental agenda through their online network. Guru Amrit Singh of SikhNet praised EcoSikh’s work and said, “Their efforts are very important for all humanity and we are happy to be part of this movement.” In addition, the audience was entertained and challenged by EcoSikh’s treasurer Manranjan Singh’s humor and wit to take action toward nature preservation. Tedi Pagg, a group of young Sikhs from DC area, presented their debut Punjabi song ‘Rukh’. Devender Pal Singh picked the winning raffle ticket for a free round trip ticket to India, provided by Air India. Rhea Kaur Nandra and Aman Singh, two middle school students, highlighted the youth involvement of collecting funds to plant trees in Amritsar.