Punjab, India’s bread-basket, is facing an ecological disaster due to overuse of pesticides and chemical fertilisers in the soil, according to Sikh-Americans in the US. Expressing concern over the over the overuse of chemicals and fertilisers in Punjab, Dr Rajwant Singh, president of EcoSikh said, “Punjab is facing an ecological disaster due to overuse of pesticides and chemical fertilisers in the soil. Punjab’s rivers and ground water are no longer safe for human consumption.”
EcoSikh is a seven-year-old environmental group working on climate change and ecological issues on behalf of the Sikhs in Punjab and around the world.
“All Punjabis are facing serious health challenges. Cancer is on the rise and it is critical that all Punjabis, and particularly Sikhs, make the environment a top priority,” Singh said at EcoSikh gala. “Climate Change is the single most catastrophic threat facing the entire world and yet we do not see it. People are not taking it seriously but is happening,” said Hardeep Walia, CEO of the Motif Investigating said in a statement.
“It is essential that we take this seriously and support organisations like EcoSikh. Environmental teachings are a central part of the faith and we ought to be part of this effort,” said Walia who has recently been approached by Wall Street Banks and investment firms to create a climate hedge fund. Bollywood comedian and acclaimed Punjabi actor Ghuggi entertained the audience with his wit and humour at the event.
“Guru Nanak years ago gave us all a message to be conscious of nature and to honor our coexistence with it. Every person needs to have the sensitivity to keep their surroundings healthy because it ultimately affects both our inner and outer health,” he said. Decades of overuse of pesticides in Punjab is suspected to be the cause of a slew of illnesses, from cancers to birth defects. Excessive use of fertilisers, pesticides and insecticides that have resulted in a slow accumulation of toxins within the water, soil, food and ultimately people, of the region, according to experts.