US-based EcoSikh raises funds for environmental action in Punjab

Washington, EcoSikh, a Washington-based community environmental group, is raising funds to help support environmental initiatives in India's Punjab state, and elsewhere in the world.

Over 300 Sikhs joined a gala for Earth's ecological future here over the weekend to mark the fifth anniversary of EcoSikh's founding.

The star-studded event featured musical entertainment from Indian Idol's Devender Pal Singh from India who especially flew from Punjab and renowned music composer, Shankar Tucker, according to the organisers.

Devender Pal, 22, enthralled the audience with his classical songs from Indian movies and Sufi-style Punjabi numbers.

EcoSikh has facilitated many projects in Punjab and around the world through its two staff members in India and one in Washington. EcoSikh has also started projects in the Sikh sacred cities of Amritsar and Nanded in India.

In his keynote address, Suneet Singh Tuli, chief executive officer of DataWinds Ltd, whose company created the world's most affordable tablet computer, asked those attending the event to take concrete actions to make a positive difference in their communities.

"We cannot be quiet bystanders. We must right the wrong that we see. We are answerable to the future generations if we do not take care of Mother Earth. It is our responsibility," he said.

Rajwant Singh, president of EcoSikh, said, "Punjab is facing dire ecological consequences due to overuse of pesticides and chemical fertilisers and Punjabis are facing serious health challenges."

"It is critical that all Punjabis, and particularly Sikhs, make environment as one of our top agendas," he said appealing to the community to help support the environmental awareness and tree plantation drive in Punjab.

SikhNet, a Sikh cybercommunity website for news, events and online discussions was honoured for their work in promoting the environmental agenda through their online network.

Praising EcoSikh's work, Guru Amrit Singh of SikhNet said: "Their efforts are very important for all humanity and we are happy to be part of this movement."

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