'Gift to the Planet' -EcoSikh to Plant One Million Trees

550 trees will be planted per location to celebrate the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak.

EcoSikh, the Washington D.C.-headquartered environmental organization, is coordinating the distinct Million Tree Project initiative. The action asks Sikhs all over the world to plant about a million trees. The project has been described as the Sikhs "gift to the entire planet." It is the hope that such an initiative will revert environmental declines and assist individuals in reconnecting with nature. EcoSikh is part of the celebrations that mark 550 years from the time Guru Nanak, the founder of the Sikh religion, was born.

The president of EcoSikh, Rajwant Singh, wanted to mark the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak in a manner befitting the momentousness of the event. He said the idea to save nature was a logical progression as Guru Nanak himself loved nature and has mentioned the same as God’s manifestations. The founder of Sikhism was noted to have said multiple times as to how lessons of life should hopefully be learned from nature. Indeed, one of the hymns composed by the Sikh guru, and which devout Sikhs chant as a part of daily prayer, includes a line where the air is equated to the teacher, water to father, and the earth to mother. EcoSikh has partnered with Afforestt, a unique organization which trains individuals to design small native quickly growing forests.

The stated aim of EcoSikh is to contact Sikhs scattered all over the world to plant a total of 550 trees in each location. The organization has identified 1,820 sites in this regard. The same could be done in Punjab. The effort is a gift to the earth itself. The Sikh diaspora has accepted the challenge. Other than India, where most Sikhs live, adherents also live in large numbers in the United States, the United Kingdom, Kenya, and Australia.

The British Sikh diaspora is quite active in this regard, with the Coventry chapter deserving special mention. Several native trees, flowers, and shrubs are being planted at Longford Park. Sikh Union Coventry is also scouting for locations in schools, recreation areas, and parks for more of the same. Palvinder Singh Chana, the chairperson of Sikh Union Coventry, pointed out that as Sikhs, connection to the environment is integral to identity and faith. He hopes the coming generations would benefit from such present-day efforts, which symbolize continuity, peace, and friendships for the future generations.

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