Sikhs Clean Plastic and Harmful Trash at River in Washington
Washington April 3 (Raj Gogna )— 45 volunteers of EcoSikh from all over Washington area had gathered to clean the Kingman Island’s trash and harmful waste. As part of the Sikh Environment Day celebrations and also marking the 550th birth-anniversary of Guru Nanak, they decided to clean the pollution causing trash from the Washington area waters. They collected over 50 bags of trash which included plastic bags, bottles, lids, covers, cups, cooking utensils, and glass waste. People even found syringes. Plastic and all kinds of trash which enters in the river and ends up in the ocean. The event started with a Sikh prayer on the environment.
Dr. Gunpreet Kaur, EcoSikh Washington Team coordinator, said, “The plastic trash we create is a major threat to the marine life and it is killing so many birds in the pacific region. It also impacts the environment of the Capital area.”EcoSikh had organized this cleaning service in partnership with Alliance for the Chesapeake and Living Classroom.Inder Singh Rekhi, EcoSikh Special project coordinator who organized this event, said, “Everyone enthusiastically did this service while implementing ‘Pavan Guru, Pani Pita Mata Dearth’ the wonderful concept of Guru Nanak, founder of Sikhism, that one should have a harmonious relationship with air, water and land. He added, “We are thankful to all the Washington area local gurdwaras for helping to get the word out to the community. The turnout was great.”Dr. Rajwant Singh, EcoSikh Founder, said, “We were shocked to see so much plastic waste in the river system immediately outside of Washington, America’s capital. This is not a good example we are setting for rest of the nation and the world.
He added, “It is important for us as a faith community to do our part to help clean the environment.Kate Fritz, Executive Director of the Alliance of the Chesapeake, welcoming Sikhs for this kind act and said, “We are extremely thankful this partnership with EcoSikh and we were touched by the community service that the Sikh community has offered for rest of us and the wider community. We look forward to this working relationship.”Laura Todd from Alliance of the Chesapeake, said, “I was impressed by the dedication of the Sikhs to the environment and learned so much about your faith.”Simranjit Singh Sachar, Youth Coordinator, said, “We felt inspired that our positive action can hopefully change our own self and we will now be more conscious about our actions.
This has opened our eyes that how much trash we create on a daily basis and how it is causing so much havoc around the world. As Sikhs, we are reminded that one must live such a life that the surroundings and living beings are not harmed by our actions.”Jasraj Singh, college student from University of Maryland, said, “This is the responsibility of all of us.”Dr. Sahil Sekhon, said, “This kind of positive action should be taken more periodically.”Gagan Kaur Narang, Outreach Committee Member at Guru Gobind Singh Foundation, said, ” Guru Nanak gave us the message to care for nature and this is the best way to connect to our Guru.”
Age group of volunteers were from age four to people in their 70s.In addition, EcoSikh will also be planning the plantation of 550 trees this year in celebration of Guru Nanak’s 550th Birthday in Washington