Punjab – UNITED SIKHS Blog https://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog Recognize The Human Race As One Fri, 01 Sep 2017 23:45:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Part 4: Farmers’ dilemma at field in Sri Mukhtsar Sahib. https://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

Part 2: Students on cancer awareness in Sri Mukhtsar Sahib. https://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/2013/04/part-2-students-on-cancer-awareness-in-sri-mukhtsar-sahib/ Sat, 06 Apr 2013 20:04:20 +0000 http://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/?p=1888 Sri Mukhtsar Sahib


Sri Mukhtsar Sahib may not a big city with big educational institutes but over time some of the educational institutions have emerged as sought after ones atleast pulling students from north Indian states, also not to forget is the famous Government College, Mukhtsar will have highest number of seats in the area. The United Sikhs team went to 5 colleges of different educational fields for awareness campaign on awareness on cancer and organic agriculture and also to check the awareness level of the students studying in the area.

The team first reached the Khalsa College, Mukhtsar followed by Guru Nanak B.Ed College, Mai Bhago Medical College, Guru Nanak Ayruveda College and Govt. College Mukhtsar where a brief presentation was given regarding what the problem is in order to sensitise them. There after solutions were sought from them upon the issue. Students came up with solutions, some of them were specific according to their educational field. For example, the ayruvedic college students came up with a traditional therapy which is less painful and B.Ed students gave ways to sensitise students, specially the small ones which take their message home for their parents. Students from farm background gave their experiences and the problem and also expressed their unwillingness to go for organic farming as their task is huge with no results in terms of good yield.

Overall the awareness level of the students is low in the region when it comes to cancer and other problems which the city is facing right now. According to them it is the state government work to correct the situation in the city. Though some mentioned global warming, pesticides in the farm, uranium in underground as the problem but they were unsure of the same as it all came in the news. After talking to the authorities, an attempt to set awareness drives was made which can be done at a later stage for a beginning for better days ahead.


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

Becoming an Eco-Sikh !! https://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



Water, cancer, Bathinda and what not!!! https://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/2013/02/water-cancer-bathinda-and-what-not/ https://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/2013/02/water-cancer-bathinda-and-what-not/#comments Fri, 15 Feb 2013 04:16:09 +0000 http://www.unitedsikhs.org/blog/?p=1832 How horrifying is cancer when it is detected in any indivisual, most of them including there well wishers are taken a step back. An important aspect relating to cancer is that the gene which causes cancer i.e. oncogene is present in every human being, in some it reacts while in majority it doesn’t.

In the present day environment, allot depends on the external factors which has resulted in mutations with other gene or viral which has enhanced cancer detection in many individuals. Also a person may or may not be directly related to the problem though he/she may get the burnt for it. The most common case is the problem of Uranium in Faridkot, Punjab where many were detected with cancer who were remotely associated with farms. The problem was in the most essential thing on earth, i.e. water which was consumed by everyone. Also groundwater is the most prominent source of water as bottled water is not abundant in the area. The time when Venice, Italy is revolting against bottled water, a lot is needed in this section of Punjab where the short term need is to stop the use of tap water.

Often known as the cancer belt, the Mansa-Bathinda- Ferozepur sector of Punjab has made headline in Punjab and else were in the country and even the world regarding the wide spread of cancer. The problem is such that it is not tackled in the correct manner with the result that the patients have to look elsewhere and generally they end up to one destination i.e. Acharya Tulsi Regional Cancer Treatment and Research Centre in Bikaner, Rajasthan. As many as 100 patients board the daily trains to Bikaner for a hope of better treatment, terming it the “Cancer express”.

Since the problem is on the rise two things are possible, the first is to increase the frequency of the trains or second it to have a proper measure to control this deadly outbreak of disease by purifying the basic essential of life, a reverse osmosis plant or good quality filter can make a better situation for the present and more importantly the future generation. But remember the options are open and rests with us. But do we need to just think??? while 100 more board the train to BKN (railway code for Bikaner).

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