It was a sweltering Summer’s day when a small group of environmentally-minded Sikh youth gathered to discuss what they could do to promote environmental awareness within the Sikh community and contribute to the worldwide EcoSikh (www.ecosikh.org) movement in their own city. The result? Two fantastic days and the official launch of the ‘SYA Green Team’.
The first day, called the ‘Green Day Out’, was held on Sunday 13th March. The event aimed to bring together youth within our community interested in environmental activism. The response was fantastic with over 80 youth attending and socialising in the picturesque setting of Bicentennial Park, raising over $300 for Japan through a picnic and enjoying impromptu games of cricket, soccer, kite-flying and ‘green’ paint-on tattoos. The highlight of the day, however, was the fierce waterfight which left almost everyone soaked.
“It was heartening to see so many youth eager to come together and support such a worthwhile and timely cause” says Jasbinder Kaur, an SYA Green Team project coordinator. “Sikhism has a long honoured concern for the environment, exemplified by the teachings of Guru Har Rai Sahib Ji, our seventh Guru.”
The Green Day Out provided the platform for Sikh Youth to sign up for and get involved in SYA’s ‘Green Action Day’. Held on Saturday 26th March in Nuringingy Reserve, Doonside, the day was a success with over 30 youth gathered to work with Blacktown City Council Bushcare group. The team helped to clear more than two hectares of native bushland that had been choked by weeds.
Youth Cleaning up at SYA's Green Action Day
Mayor of Blacktown City, Councillor Alan Pendleton said that he appreciated the efforts of the Sikh youths and their obvious concern about the environment they lived in. He said he would like to see more environmental partnerships develop with the many different community groups living in the Blacktown area.
“It is a win-win situation for the whole community,’’ he said.
Ms Jaideep Kaur, spokesperson for the SYA Green Team, said such initiatives and affiliations with other organizations would help the Sikh community prosper and spread the love for humanity and peace to all aspects of multicultural life in Australia.
The first of the Green Team projects was a huge success, and SYA is planning more Green projects for the near future.
Written by Jaspreet Kaur.
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