Hyderabad,India: On the 7th day of the U.N.’s COP 11 of the Convention on Biological Diversity in Hyderabad, eleven of India’s holy towns and cities came together to launch the India chapter of the international Green Pilgrimage Network (GPN).
EcoSikh brought the two historical Sikh Pilgrim cities Sri Amritsar and Sri Hazur Sahib, Nanded at this launch today at Hotel Katriya, Hyderabad.
The Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC) and ICLEI (Local governments for Sustainability group) hosted the meeting, bringing together representatives of the Hindu, Sikh, Muslim and Buddhist cities of Amritsar, Guntur, Howrah, Visakhapatnen, Shirdi, Ujjain, Haridwar, Rishikesh, Varanasi, Ladakh and Bodh Gaya. The India chapter joins an international network of 12 global cities located across Europe, Africa and Asia.
“It would be an honour for us to bring the city of Takhat Sri hazur Sahib in this green network for the sustainability of our holy city. We will work harder to provide best sustainable resources to the pilgrims to Hazur Sahib and we will focus to promote environment conservation, as how Guru Nanak Sahib has guided us”, said D.P Singh Chawla, the C.E.O/Superintendent of Takhat Sri Hazur Sahib Committee.
“After Sri Amritsar, the joining of Takhat Sri Hazur Sahib, Nanded in the Green Pilgrimage Network will create enormous compassion for nature, in the Sikh community. We are very confident of Sri Hazur Sahib Committee and we are extremely hopeful to initiate eco-projects with them with their ever promising cooperation”, said EcoSikh India Manager, Ravneet Singh who has come to Hyderabad for this launch at XI CBD.
ARC’s Deputy Director and Co-ordinator of the Green Pilgrmage Network, Alison Hilliard said she was delighted that Hazur Sahib, Nanded had joined the GPN. She highlighted the positive role model that Amritsar has been to other pilgrim cities in introducing greening initiatives from pioneering solar kitchens to eco rickshaws.
At this launch EcoSikh shared the evidences of launch of Eco-Amritsar, the project launched by EcoSikh June 2012, with the existing network members and the new cities and pilgrim cites who were introduced to this international network of Green Pilgrim Cities.
“The SGPC as a founder member of this Green Pilgrimage Network is all ready to add more effective solutions for the well being of earth, we have recently launched solar kitchens at Sri Harimandir Sahib, and we are heading forward for the next Sikh Environment Day in March 2013 at a much larger level”, said the Research Director, SGPC, Roop Singh.
Gunbir Singh, Chairman Eco-Amritsar and WWF, Punjab said, “We seek support from the entire Sikh community and pilgrims from throughout the world to serve and savour the sacred land of Amritsar. It is our hope that we usher in the celebration of 440th Anniversary of the Holy City in 2017, in a clean and green Sri Amritsar and to achieve this end, each of us need to look at Amritsar as My City, My Pride! My Responsibility!”