He also emphasized that “If all Indians and Chinese were to live by the Western lifestyle, this world will no longer be sustainable. The only way out is to for all of us to practice ‘voluntary simplicity’.
Over 250 guests joined EcoSikh’s benefit dinner, an annual fundraiser to support the environmental organization’s international programs. The event featured musical entertainment from Devender Pal Singh, an international Punjabi pop star and former contestant on Indian Idol. Celebrity guest and NBA athlete Gursimran “Sim” Bhullar also gave a speech at the event.Standing at 7 feet 5 inches,Bhullar drew the attention of the crowd as he spoke about his recent visit to Punjab. Bhullar said he saddened by the state of the environment there.Bhullar said, “We all have the responsibility to make sure that we leave this earth for future generations. We all must pitch in and save it. It’s the younger people and children who are going to suffer.”
Dr. Rajwant Singh, President of EcoSikh, presented the water issues in India, such as groundwater depletion and pollution. He said, “The environmental crisis facing Punjab is a survival issue and it is a Panthic issue.”
Dr. Singh said, “It is our desire to make sure that Sikhs are present in every conversation and dialog on environment and climate change at all levels internationally. The Sikh perspective pertaining to environment, given by the Gurus, needs to be propagated.”
Gavinder Billing, a volunteer for EcoSikh, recited a poem for the environment, and was followed by an outpour of support and donations from the audience. The EcoSikh team appealed for support of three major projects: creating an environmental plan at Sikh sites in Pakistan for Guru Nanak’s 550th birth anniversary, rolling out a Green Gurdwara Initiative, and beginning a water campaign in Punjab and India. “EcoSikh plans on working with Pakistani officials to bring environmental projects to the locations around Nankana Sahib and Kartarpur Sahib, both sacred locations for Sikhs,” said program manager Sumeet Kaur.
The evening also highlighted EcoSikh’s efforts to greenify gurdwaras and start water dialog in Punjab, where groundwater is rapidly depleting. Through a powerful video showcasing their projects in the last year, EcoSikh displayed the environmental problems the Sikh community and India is facing, and the organization’s efforts to fix those problems.