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Green Hindus lead environmental discussions at the House of Lords

November 20, 2014:

On Monday 17th November, Hindu environmentalists from the Bhumi Project hosted a special meeting at the British House of Lords to discuss how the British Hindu community can be more involved with current environmental concerns. 

The meeting was hosted by Baron Dholakia, Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords, and chaired by the Bhumi Project Director, Gopal Patel. 

After a presentation on the work of the Bhumi Project, a panel discussion explored why it was important for Hindus to address environmental concerns, both in the UK and internationally. Panelists for the discussion were Giles Goddard, member of the Church of England General Synod; Pratik Dattani, former chairman of the City Hindu Network; and Devika Jina, a previous Bhumi Project intern now working for the Society for the Environment. 

Baron Dholakia who hosted the meeting

Working group planned

Those attending the meeting represented Hindu communities and organisations from across the UK. All were in agreement about the importance of caring for the planet and the need for the Hindu community to be more actively involved in promoting good environmental care. 

A major outcome of the meeting was interest in forming a working group from a cross-section of the Hindu community to work on environmental issues. Facilitated by the Bhumi Project, this group would work to engage with business leaders, politicians, and other faith groups to present how Hindu teachings and practices can help address environmental concerns. It is planned for this group to have its first meeting in early January next year. 

Hindu Environment Week

The meeting was also an opportunity to launch Hindu Environment Week in the UK, which is to take place February 15th - 21st, 2015. In 2014, the majority of Hindu Environment Week events took place in the India. For 2015, there are plans to make it more international with a greater number of events in the UK and USA. Many of the guests agreed to host events, including the National Hindu Students Forum (UK). 

Inspiring book for schools

Also launched at the meeting was The Hidden Forest. Commissioned by the Bhumi Project, and written and illustrated by Jahnavi Harrison. The Hidden Forest is a charming story of three generations of the same family on pilgrimage to Vrindavan from Delhi. Whilst visiting sacred sites connected to stories from the life of Lord Krishna, the family rediscover the beauty and simplicity of traditional pilgrimage practices, and the need to preserve sacred sites for future generations.

The story, which is also available as a script suitable for school drama performance, can be obtained free as a downloadable PDF file from the Bhumi Project website.

Hindu Environment Week website

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Related pages

Hindu Statement on Ecology
A formal statement on Hindu beliefs about the environment. "God’s creation is sacred. Humanity does not have the right to destroy what it cannot create."
March 28, 2014:
Successful debut for Hindu Environment Week
The first ever Hindu Environment Week (February 17-23) involved Hindu communities worldwide in environmental awareness and action.
April 17 2013:
PRESS RELEASE New story for schools inspires a greener understanding of Hindu traditions
The Bhumi Project and ARC are jointly publishing The Hidden Forest, a story book for young people about Hindu pilgrimage.