The Art of Living celebrated Guru Purnima as 'Environment Day' as the Founder, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar urged people to protect the environment as a foremost duty. The Sri Sri Institute of Agricultural Sciences and Technology Trust, under the aegis of The Art of Living targeted spreading awareness on need to protect environment and conducted mega tree plantation drive in 20 states of India which was joined by thousands across India.
Championing the cause of environment, in a video message, Sri Sri said, "We have to take care of this planet Earth. Earth, water, fire and air, these elements have to be protected and nurtured for generations to come. Let’s take care of this Earth; let’s not put poisonous things into the soil; let’s go back to organic farming; let’s plant as many trees as we can. We are cutting so many trees but we are not planting enough trees.
On this Guru Purnima, let’s all take a sankalpa and determination to plant more trees, keep the water sources clean; let’s not pollute water sources and waste water; water is very important. Let’s not pollute air. If we take care of the environment, it will take care of us. It will bring us health, prosperity and happiness. Let’s learn from the mistakes others have made. Let’s not repeat the mistakes we have committed in the past. Take care of our planet and celebrate Guru Purnima as Environment Day.”
At the Art of Living Ashram, around 900 students of The Art of Living's free school initiative participated in a tree plantation drive.
Dignitaries like Mr. Ramakrishna Y.B, Chairman, Working Group on Bio-Fuels, Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, Government of India; Dr. Yellappa Reddy, Environmentalist and retired IFS Officer were present at the inauguration of the event.
Appreciating The Art of Living for promoting the cause of the environment on Guru Purnima, Mr. Ramakrishna Y.B encouraged school students to pay more attention to nature. "Let us observe things in nature for ten minutes today and see all the things we miss see everyday," he said.
The organisation also raised awareness on bio-fuels and encouraged plantation of fruit trees, medicinal plants, aromatic plants, culinary herbs. Adding to it they guided individuals to use eco-friendly products and services and also to opt for natural farming, elaborated ways to save existing resources. Ideas were promoted through different mediums and platforms.
The Art of Living has been at a forefront of working for the environment. In 2014, around 20 lakhs plants were planted on Guru Purnima in 13 states.
The Art of Living with its roots in spirituality, has nurtured a deep respect for our planet in thousands of people around the world. The earth may be made up of rocks, sand and water, but spirituality can help us to perceive our planet as a living vibrant entity, responding to our care and attention.
Inspired by the vision of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and moving together as a team, volunteers from around the world have initiated several environmental projects: Large scale tree plantations through Mission Green Earth, water conservation and protection including cleaning polluted rivers and zero-budget chemical-free farming which support poorer farmers to farm in a way which is both economically and organically sound.
The Art of Living also recognizes that to nurture and ensure future conservation of nature, it is necessary that these values be inculcated in young minds at home and at school.