A Gurpurab without crackers: Delhi's Sikhs unite to fight pollution
At a time when the city is battling soaring pollution levels, the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) has made an appeal for the celebration of Gurpurab sans firecrackers. Additionally, close to 700 gurdwaras in India celebrated Diwali without fireworks to do their part in reducing pollution.
Following last year’s pattern, the DSGMC appealed to Sikhs in Delhi to celebrate the anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev (Gurpurab), which falls on November 4, without crackers. According to The Indian Express, last year, DSGMC President Manjeet Singh GK had said,
"We have decided not to burn any firecrackers this year on Gurpurab, which for Sikhs is akin to Diwali. The decision will be conveyed to all 700 Singh Sabhas who will, in turn, spread the message to gurdwaras in Delhi."
This comes at a time when despite the ban on their sale, crackers were sold in Delhi, resulting in increased air pollution. The decision is an attempt at following in the footsteps of Guru Har Rai Sahib, the seventh Guru of Sikhism, who spread the message of environment conservation. Speaking about this decision in an interview with Hindustan Times, Manjinder Singh Sirsa, spokesperson, DSGMC, said,
"Apart from appealing to the general public, we will involve school children to generate awareness on the environment and pollution. We can't even think of implementing the Supreme Court order unless general masses are involved and made aware about the perils of crackers."
Gurpurab, otherwise known as Guru Nanak Jayanti, will be celebrated by lighting lamps and helping the needy.