Although Sikhs usher in Guru Nanak Jayanti every year with fireworks, the age-old practice has been condemned by the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) — and a gurdwara in Gurgaon has gone a step ahead and made its celebrations eco-friendly this year.
“The practice of bursting crackers has been continuing for years, but instead of that, we held a laser show on Sikh Gurus and gurdwaras this year, after the culmination of the Nagar Kirtan,” says Jasbir Singh Gujral, secretary,gurdwara Sadh Sangat South City 1, Gurgaon.
What’s heartening is that it was the sangat (devotees), especially youngsters, who came up with the suggestion. “We thought of cutting down the air pollution and reducing waste,” adds Gujral.
For the past three months, the committee that takes care of the gurdwara has been running a green initiative and taking considerable steps to make the gurdwara a green institution. “We have replaced the plastic plates with steal and leaf plates. Also, we have started our own waste segregation. The vegetable peels and minimal leftovers are sent to nearby gaushalas (cow sheds) for cows and buffalos, and the other organic waste is being sent to be used for pit compost,” explains Kanwal Pal Singh, a volunteer at the gurdwara .
Segregation of waste at South City 1 Gurdwara, Gurgaon
As far as decorations for the occasion go, the committee will light candles and earthen lamps instead of bursting crackers. “Pavn Guru, Mata Dharat, Pani Pita,Mata Dharat Mahat (Air is the Guru, water is the father and earth is the greatest mother of all),” says Manjit Singh GK, president, DSGMC, referring to a verse from Gurbani. He adds, “The kind of pollution we saw in Delhi after Diwali was unnerving and the bursting of crackers continued till the wee hours. And people are bursting crackers even for other festivals! So, we decided ki is baar aaitishbaazi nahi hogi (this time we will not have fireworks). We have appealed to all Singh Sabhas (small colony gurdwaras) in Delhi to celebrate the Gurpurab in an environment-friendly manner. Let’s celebrate Guru Sahib’s Purab by glowing lights, helping the poor, showing compassion towards the needy, and by following the teachings of the ten Gurus and Shri Guru Granth Sahib.”