Greening of Holy cities: Green Pilgrimage Network
- Pilgrimage centres across the globe have become the bin of all sorts of litter from untreated sewage to plastics.
- Since, India is home to one of the largest number of pilgrimage centres in the world and draws huge crowd faces a daunting task to cleanse it.
- For instance from Vaishnodevi to Varanasi in Northern India and Tirupati to Kanyakumari in Southern India, holy cities draw huge crowd.
- Green Pilgrimage Network, an operation hosted by the Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC) became the front runner to counter this ecological challenge coupled with Bhumi Project-which was initiated by famous Oxford University.
- The above organisations have been working with all stakeholders and Green Pilgrimage Network (GPN), have done environmental assessment and action plan for various holy cities in India.
- The initiatives included raising awareness, planning of traffic movement and categorising green shops in the localities etc..
- C.P.R. Environmental Education Centre-a centre of excellence established by MoEF would start GPN initiative in Rameshwaram and would extend it to other cities in the coming days.
- In fact, Green pilgrimage concept has been part of Indian scriptures and for instance there is punishment prescribed for destroying green-cover in Arthashastra.
- We Indians treat all entities of existence in the form of God from Earth to Sky, Ironically we forget it when we litter around.
- Although Indian pilgrimage centres are known for their sorry states with regard to environmental concern, but few centres have taken a initiative of conservation. For instance usage of solar energy in daily activities in Tirumala (Sevas and accommodation threatened by Govt at Tirumala).
- World would be beautiful and green if our pilgrimage centres start to take responsibility to maintain the green practices and mitigate practices which destroy the holy cities.
- Green Pilgrimage Network.
- Role of NGOs and Govts in Conservation of Environment