Jun 5, 2024
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Championing the Cause of Environmental Protection: How Dera Sacha Sauda is Building a Green Future

Gushing water of rivers, green canopies of forests, majestic mountains, tranquil ponds and lakes, huge oceans with giant waves, deserts, marsh lands, open areas or grasslands, soft breeze or blowing winds, animals, birds, insects and marine life – every element of nature forms a delicate life supporting composition which we refer to as ‘Environment’.

Comprised of complex elements yet with the simple objective of supporting life in all forms, the natural resources of Earth form the foundation of life. Our environment, comprising of multiple layers, works like a living entity in itself; it feels, responds and reacts.

Every life form is integrated and profoundly connected to its environment in more ways than we can perceive. Hence, it is vital that we protect, conserve and nurture our environment in every possible way.

The Theme of World Environment Day 2024 is ‘Land restoration, desertification and drought resilience’.

Impacts of Unchecked Progress: Severe Environmental Deterioration

Global industrialization accelerated in last 2 centuries, but environmental health deteriorated at a much faster rate. Lack of environmental policies, no check on pollution, human greed for consumption, rampant deforestation and ever-increasing population have brought our planet to the point where we face a dire future.

  • Land Desertification: Rampant and reckless deforestation has led to extreme soil erosion. In the absence of trees to hold on to the soil, heavy rains, winds and extreme weather conditions erode the soil rendering it unproductive.

Monoculture cropping, intense agriculture, use of excessive pesticides and harmful fertilizers and stubble burning deprive the soil of nutrients, rendering it unfit for use in the long run.

  • Global Warming and Climate Change: This can be seen as extreme weather phenomena, hurricanes, heavy and untimely rainfall, draughts and floods etc.
  • Decline in Ground Water levels: Fast depleting ground water levels have created drinking water scarcity in many cities of the world.
  • Water pollution: Industrial waste, sewage waste and plastic discarded in rivers eventually end up oceans, impacting aquatic life & polluting freshwater resources.
  • Excessive usage of harmful fertilizers and pesticides has led to soil and ground water toxicity as these seep into ground water, rendering it unfit for human consumption.
  • Air Pollution: Unchecked release of toxic gases like methane, CO2 etc by industries, vehicles, etc has led to greenhouse effect causing global warming.

All these factors impact every living species on this Earth, leading to loss of biodiversity, food scarcity, increase in diseases and extinction of many species of flora and fauna. Humanity needs to take collective action each day, to restore the environmental health.

The Multifaceted Approach by Dera Sacha Sauda to Save the Environment, Protect Biodiversity and Save the Future

Amidst the challenges and clouds of doubt, Dera Sacha Sauda has emerged as a ray of light with its great environmental initiatives. Working since last two decades, they have planted millions of trees, cleaned cities and states, water bodies and public places, encouraged organic farming, spread awareness on using biodegradable and eco-friendly options, and there’s a lot more!

Driven with a vision for a holistically balanced ecosystem, thriving and healthy environment, prosperous and harmonious future, Saint Dr. Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji Insan came up with a multifaceted approach towards environment protection.

Nature Campaign: Started in the year 2007, till date 5,19,18,665 trees have been planted across the nation under this initiative. The tree plantation drive is conducted annually to celebrate his holiness’s Saint Dr Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji’s birthday, which falls on 15th August.

Impacts:

  • Desertification of land was prevented in areas where tree plantation took place.
  • Reduced Temperature
  • Restored ground water levels, improved soil fertility.
  • Better rainfall.
  • Restored ecosystem with increased numbers of birds, useful insects, bees and animals.
  • Increased awareness among the masses.

Cleanse Campaign: The historic Mega Cleanliness Drives initiated by Saint Dr. Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji Insan were nothing short of miracle in which lakhs of volunteers came together to clean mega cities and even states in a matter of few hours! Till date 35 Mega Cleanliness Drives have been conducted and many others have been organized by volunteers at local levels. This led to:

  • Reduction in mosquitoes and germs and reduction in diseases like dengue & malaria.
  • Reduction in soil and water pollution.
  • Clean drainage systems, low maintenance costs.
  • Increased awareness amongst people regarding hygiene and cleanliness

Scientific Farming: Guru ji also focused on empowering the farmers and taught them organic farming practices. Annual Kisan Mela held at Dera Sacha Sauda imparts free trainings and education to agriculturists on polyculture or growing multiple crops in the same field at the same time, getting maximum harvest with low investment, growing crops that need minimal water, using drip system for irrigation and how to do hi-tech farming, which is beneficial for both, farmers as well as environment.

Apart from this, the farming community is also elucidated regarding harms of stubble burning. They are encouraged to convert the stubble to organic manure or use it as fodder for the cattle.

Solar Panels and Bio-gas Plant at Dera Sacha Sauda

Leading by example, Saint Dr. Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji Insan established a 300 KW solar power plant at Shah Satnam Ji Ashram, with its panels mounted atop the shed within the pandal, serving as a clean sustainable energy solution.

A 2200 cubic metres capacity, 115 KW power generation capacity Biogas plant was also established at Dera Sacha Sauda, Sirsa. Under the expert leadership of Guruji, Dera Sach Sauda helped and enabled multiple villages to set up same facility, thereby following sustainable practices while conserving the environment.

Not just this, walking that extra mile and championing the cause of environmental conservation and protection, Guru ji also encouraged millions of people worldwide to say ‘No’ to plastic, use cloth bags, save every drop of water, conserve natural resources, save electricity and minimize air pollution.

The Way forward

Saint Dr. Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji Insan has modelled a solution which restores and rejuvenates the environment and ensures conservation of the ecosystem. This multifaceted approach tackles the threat of land desertification, pollution, global warming and depleting water levels.  Thanks to the precious guidance of Guru ji and efforts of millions of volunteers globally, many cities and villages have witnessed positive transformations.

By extrapolating this model, replicating its core principles, and working with unwavering consistency, we can create a ripple effect of positive change. Let us rise to this challenge, collectively mitigating the wrath of nature and securing a sustainable future for generations to come. Let’s save our environment and save out future.