A multi-faith event at Coworkin, Nehru Place in New Delhi on the 12th of June, 2016, celebrating the six-month anniversary of the Paris Agreement on climate change was organised by three global interfaith organizations: Bhumi, EcoSikh and Islamic Relief-India.
The celebrations brought together over 75 of young & experienced environmental, spiritual leaders from diverse faiths and social sectors in solidarity with the global masses.
The objective was to show the compassion and unity within faith groups working on climate change and to reaffirm the commitments made by policy makers during COP21: Paris, climate declarations in December 2015, under the global campaign, ‘Sacred Earth, Sacred Trust’.
This event was one of the 150 events and actions planned in over 36 countries under the aegis of US based, GreenFaith. The event witnessed celebrations via multi-faith prayers, faiths’ declarations and a joint statement on community based climate action, reaffirming their action to keep 1.50C within reach, reduce emissions from centers of worship and an urge the Government of India to take concrete steps to address the drought issue in the country and support enhanced R & D in disaster management. The event had a special focus on the auspicious Ramzan, where all the faiths joined for iftar (Ramzan food party) after multifaith prayers.
Rev. Fletcher Harper, Executive Director of US based GreenFaith, which is supporting these events in many countries said, ‘The earth is an incredible gift, and people of diverse faiths realize that it’s our shared moral responsibility to protect it.
Ravneet Singh from EcoSikh and Sikh representatives from Basics of Sikhi, recited a special prayer for peace during the event, EcoSikh India President, Supreet Kaur said, “The daily Sikh prayers reminds us to serve the air as our Guru, water as the father and earth as the great mother of all. The Sikhs have always been committed to work untiringly for the wellbeing of all life on the earth.”
The Bhumi representative Pinaki Dasgupta stated, “It is high time that we come out open with our faiths as a communication medium for propagating the adversity of climate change”. Bhumi Director Gopal Patel adds “Climate Change effects all of us, it’s therefore important that we all come together to express our love and respect for the Earth. Only through such unity we can hope to heal the world”.
Islamic Relief India-Director, Akmal Shareef stated, “The Paris declaration on Climate change is a watershed in many ways. The role of faith community is extremely critical in this. It’s a high time that people from different faith come together and take collective action to ensure that ill-effects of climate change on us and on future generation is minimized. Today’s event is one of such steps in that direction.’
The participants were enlightened from talks by Prof Junaid Hamid from JMI, Avneet Kaur from Basics of Sikhi, Dr. Shabana Khan, disaster management expert, Raghunath Prabhu ji from Vrindavan, Neha Upadhyay from Guna Organics, Mr. Naviad Hamid, President of the All India Muslim Majlis –e-Mushawarat (AIMMM) and Jai Kumar Gaurav, independent consultant, climate change.