Climate Change & Sustainable Development – UNITED SIKHS Blog http://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog Recognize The Human Race As One Tue, 28 Nov 2017 14:31:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Part 4: Farmers’ dilemma at field in Sri Mukhtsar Sahib. http://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/2013/04/part-4-farmers-dilemma-at-field-in-sri-mukhtsar-sahib/ Sat, 06 Apr 2013 20:06:57 +0000 http://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/?p=1892 Sri Mukhtsar Sahib

21 March 2013

Going on to the fields, an essence of greenery went through the mind. The lush green fields give a great sense security regarding food and happiness. One can say that Mukhtsar is like an island in the sea of green fields around.  Nearly the whole city depends upon the production from the farm directly or indirectly as at least one member of the family is associated with the field.” If the production is good the city celebrates, whereas if the production is the other way round the city goes into darkness” tells a local of Mukhtsar.

The farmers of this region are not the original owner s of the land, they are working for their landlords sitting elsewhere. Organic farming constitutes not more than 2 % of the total farming in the area. It is the modern farming methods which are used to grow crops. The problem with the farmers is that they are helpless on using pesticides as the natural method is risky, a risk which they cannot bear as their whole 6 months depend upon the current production which can only be saved with the help of pesticides and insecticides. Also, on an overall basis, the monoculture of wheat in tone season and rice in the other is also a problem as the risk on crop failure itself digs a deeper well for the farmers and their owners.

As a measure to improve the farming system in the area, suggestion came out from them was an assurance from the farm owners that organic farming will be used which may not initially give the desired amount of production. Also, an awareness needs to be created to limit the use of pesticides and the use of safety measures like gloves, masks, jackets while spraying pesticides to reduce the occupational disease of farming.

 

Amitoj Singh
Coordinator, UNITED SIKHS India
E: unitedsikhs-india@unitedsikhs.org

]]>
Becoming an Eco-Sikh !! http://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/2013/03/becoming-an-eco-sikh/ Thu, 14 Mar 2013 19:41:36 +0000 http://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/?p=1862  

 USLogo  EcoSikhPoster

UNITED SIKHS  in collaboration with EcoSikh is planning to outreach all their members and sangat about Sikh Environment Day.

Becoming an Eco-Sikh !!

15th March 2013, Fremont California:

Environmentalism and Sikhism are commonly looked upon as two completely separate theologies. It is only when we look closely at the Gurbani, we can see how important our environment is to basic Sikh spirituality.

Somehow in the mixture of the waves of immigration, and shifting our focus from an agrarian lifestyle to more post-modern modes of production, we have forgotten how intrinsic and crucial our environment is, and has been, to the existence of basic Sikh philosophy and history. We have armed ourselves with physical, political, and legal protections to keep each spiritual thread intact on our sacred bodies. Despite being miles and years apart from our traditional history as agrarian innovators in Punjab, we still maintain a spiritual thread that connects us to our past and spiritual homeland. A homeland that is being decimated by international corporations, corrupt politics, lack of regulations, economic impositions, and so many man-made health and environmental disasters. The very roots of our metaphorical spiritual hair, whose roots are embedded in the environment that inspired Guru Nanak to start a powerful religious movement, is being destroyed by our decisions as modern Sikh consumers. The cyclical impact that we have on our environment is a spiritual embedding in our beliefs as Sikhs, which is something that Guru Nanak, himself, stressed when he stated “Pawan guru pani pita mata dharth mahat.” (Air is the Guru, Water is the Father, and Earth is the Great Mother of all).1
We must transform the question of “Who am I as a Sikh?” into “Who am I as an eco-Sikh?” Many of us will be surprised to find direct references to ecology in the Gurbani. But it is through the Gurbani where we will understand what our role as an ‘eco-Sikh” entails.

The Gurbani equates respect for every hair on one’s body to respecting all areas that God permeates, including forests, “O Nanak, He is pervading and permeating all places, the forests and the meadows, the three worlds, and every hair.” 2 If we, as Sikhs, are committed to maintaining our external and internal appearance as the gurus required, how can we ignore our duty to also maintain the environment? Caring for the earth is a not just a value that we must uphold, but is also a direct Hukam that aligns with the “Gurmukh’s path,” 3 “If someone is going to teach me something, let it be that the Lord is pervading the forests and fields.” 4 In aligning ourselves to this Hukam here are some steps that we can take to be responsible, environmentally conscious eco-Sikhs:

1. Planting Trees, replacing lawns with your own home-grown vegetables, and replacing your gardens with native plants and habitats. The Guru Granth Sahib states, “we shall reap the results of the seeds which we sow.” 5 We must engage in actions that promote sustainability for the whole planet. For more information on “food not lawns” please visit http://www.foodnotlawns.com

2. Use bio-degradable and recyclable plates, knives, forks, and napkins. Composting is a great way to minimize the amount of trash thrown out, and to enrich the soil for your gardens. For more information on composting, please visit http://www.epa.gov/compost/

3. Biking, walking, or taking public transportation instead of using a car is a great way to reduce carbon emissions in a healthy way.

4. If you cannot grow your own vegetables or fruits, as a consumer, you should choose to buy organic food from local farmers. Not only do you avoid exposing your family and the environment to the harmful effects of pesticides, but you also invest in local farmers and businesses.

5. Educate yourself and promote research in sustainable organic farming techniques.

The lasting effects of the Green Revolution that occurred in Punjab has unfortunately driven the “green” out of the revolution and has caused farmers in Punjab to look for alternative farming techniques. Heavy pressure for more food grain crops forced many of these farmers to focus on mono-cropping with the use of pesticides and insecticides. Increased dependence on pesticide use has drained the soil of its alkalinity and salinity; thus causing the soil to be unfit for growing crops, and further pressuring farmers to be dependent on chemicals to support the growth. This has resulted in irreparable damage to the farmers in Punjab and consumers. In addition to negatively impacting the environment, the use of pesticides and the depletion of the soil has caused many consumers to suffer from rare types of cancer at an alarming rate. By promoting research in sustainable organic farming techniques, areas such as Punjab and our own local farms will be able to farm organically, in an economically sustainable fashion. This will also maintain healthy soil, environment, and nutritious crops.

It is our responsibility to treat our sacred environment with as much respect as we treat our bodies and appearance as Sikhs. This is not a change that we make on one day of the year, but a lifelong commitment that we make with the environment and with God.

1. Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Pg. 8, line 10.
2. Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Pg. 133,, line 13.
3. Singh, Jagtaran. “Sikhism the Green Religion.” SikhNet | Sharing the Sikh Experience. N.p., 22 Mar. 2007. Web. 14 Mar. 2013. <http://fateh.sikhnet.com//sikhnet/news.nsf/
4. Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Pg. 92, line 12.
5. ” Saving Environment” WaheguruNet Sikhism info – WaheguruNet. Web. 14 Mar. 2013. <http://www.wahegurunet.com/saving-environment>.
Amitoj Singh
Coordinator, UNITED SIKHS India
E: unitedsikhs-india@unitedsikhs.org

 

 

]]>
Due by June 4 – Youth Delegation Application to COP16, Cancun http://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/2010/05/due-by-june-4-youth-delegation-application-to-cop16-cancun/ Thu, 13 May 2010 09:59:13 +0000 http://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/?p=900 Applications are now available for SustainUS Agents of Change delegation to to the UNFCCC COP16 and COP/MOP6 negotiations in Cancun, Mexico, November 29-December 10.

Applicants must be 18-26 years old at the start of the negotiations, and must be either U.S. citizens or permanent residents, or have been studying or working in the United States for at least six months at the time of application.

Selected applicants will join a diverse delegation of youth, including those both familiar with and new to the youth climate movement; from across the United States and beyond; including young scientists and engineers, policy specialists, grassroots activists, media and communications specialists; students, young professionals, and community
volunteers; and more. We have limited, need-based scholarship money for youth from climate change-impacted communities (requires separate application, see link below).

Full delegation details and application materials are available at
http://www.sustainus.org/COP16

Applications are due by 5 p.m. EDT on June 4th 2010 to agents@sustainus.org
<mailto:agents@sustainus.org>

** Please help to ensure that all eligible youth have the opportunity to  apply by forwarding this announcement where appropriate **

For more Info mail Kyle Gracey kylegracey@sustainus.org

]]>