At the People’s Climate March and dialogue held to spread awareness and discuss future course of action on climate change- which concluded late on Wednesday at Vatican City in Rome, Italy- the message of Guru Nanak Dev on conservation of water, flora and fauna also reverberated.
Hundreds of people from many faiths and religions of the world celebrated the moment when Pope Francis acknowledged thousands of participants for their moral and physical support towards the Papal Encyclical (called Loudato si) as with the People’s Climate March “One Family One Earth”.
The Asian marchers included Christians from Philippines, Sikhs from Punjab and Hong Kong, Hindus from Varanasi, Vrindavan and Mumbai, Buddhists from Nepal and Chennai, Muslims from Pakistan and Bahais from Hong Kong.
Speaking to Indian Express on phone, Ravneet Singh, a Sikh youth from Punjab- and project manager of EcoSikh said, “We sang Guru Nanak’s message of Pawan Guru Pani Pita Mata Dharat Mahat (Air is the Guru, water is the Father and earth is the mother of all) before the start of the People’s March. The Sikh marchers also carried a symbolic message of ‘Ik Onkar’ during the march in the spirit of the event.”
“It was a unique experience with over 100 young emerging environmental leaders from all the six continents representing as one family seeking action on climate issues. Various issues highlighting deterioration of environment in India and even Punjab were discussed there with world participants. At least 90 out of every 100,000 persons are cancer patients in Punjab,” he added.
The Hindus from Varanasi- under BHUMI (earth) project- recited Gaytri Mantra at the march and discussed environment conservation steps to be taken at pilgrim cities like Puri and Varanasi.
The march was organised by FOCSIV, an Italian Catholic development organisation and Our Voices, an interfaith global climate movement. The marchers walked from the central piazza Farnese and raising slogans like “many faiths one planet”, “climate action now”.
Thirty white birds were released in the sky during the march to spread message of peace.
“The Pope while addressing the environmentalists from all faiths said that said we are ‘One earth, One family’. He encouraged the collaboration between people and associations of different religions for the promotion of an integral ecology,” he told The Indian Express.