First ‘Guru Nanak Dev ji Sacred Forest’ in Pakistan
NEWYORK/LAHORE April 14 ( Raj Gogna )—EcoSikh, a Washington DC-based organization in collaboration with RESTORE, the Lahore based Afforestation firm is launching first ever Guru Nanak Sacred Forest in Pakistan, commemorating the 550th Birth Anniversary of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism. Worldwide Sikh community and admirers of Guru Nanak are celebrating his historical birthday in November with much fanfare and festivities. Govt. of Pakistan has also initiated a major project to build a corridor to connect with Indian border to facilitate the coming of Sikh pilgrims.
Iqbal Qaisar, Director of Khoj Garh, the Punjabi language research centre in Kasur Dist. where the said forest is going to be made said, “This is the best way to pay tribute to Guru Nanak who was a nature lover.” He added, “Guru Nanak healed people during his life time and we wanted to send message that his legacy can still continue to heal people and spread love in this part of the world.”
Bilal A. Chaudri, Founder of RESTORE said, “We are very excited to work on this project in collaboration with EcoSikh. We feel that Guru Nanak Sacred Forests around the world will continue to give the message that we need to have awareness towards our relationship with nature and we need to develop harmonious relationship with trees. Forests provide tremendous benefits and the majority of countries in the region desperately need this as we have seen disastrous deforestation here in recent decades, leading to many problems.”
Rajwant Singh, EcoSikh President in Washington welcomed this initiative in Pakistan and said, “Guru Nanak has given a clear message that we humans have a great deal to learn from nature. We have to consider nature as a sacred gift from the Creator.” He added, “Guru Nanak said, Air is the teacher, Water is father and Earth is our mother., thereby implying that we need to have a deep understanding of our relationship with nature. So creating a forest in name of Guru Nanak would be an implementation of his vision.”
EcoSikh has appealed to the worldwide community to plant 1 million trees around the world as a ‘gift to the world.’ EcoSikh has asked Sikhs to plant 550 trees at 1820 locations around the globe to achieve the target. Guru Nanak Sacred forest is one way to facilitate this plantation which can produce results faster and more effectively.
Bilal A. Chaudri who specializes in making super dense and fast growing”Miyawaki” style Urban Forests explained how important it is to bring back our native forests right where our population can benefit from them. He said “We are glad that EcoSikh has re-affirmed the concept of sacred forests that are native and biodiverse. These forests would serve as the genetic banks for the future generations and ensure its co-existence and survival.”