Green Kumbh at Birmingham
Chamu Kuppuswamy introduced and talked about the activities of the ‘British Raj in the Peak District’ project at Birmingham (11-5-2013) and Leicester (19-05-2013) on the occasion of the Green Kumbh Yatra.
<div style=”margin-bottom:5px”> <strong> <a href=”http://www.slideshare.net/ChamundeeswariKuppus/national-park-hindu-samaj-presentationck” title=”National park hindu samaj- presentation-ck” target=”_blank”>National park hindu samaj- presentation-ck</a> </strong> from <strong><a href=”http://www.slideshare.net/ChamundeeswariKuppus” target=”_blank”>Chamundeeswari Kuppuswamy</a></strong> </div>
Ceremonial blessing of the Kumbh
Kumbh is a brass vessel, which is being taken around the world, passing through different countries, carrying the message of environmental protection – it has been dubbed as the Olympic Torch for the environment. It set out in October 2012, at Hyderabad, India marking the beginning of the 11th Conference of Parties of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The Kumbh is an integral part of sacred rituals in Hindu culture, it has been adopted by the environmental Foundation GYAN to connect Hindu pilgrimage sites and more generally sacred sites to the environmental message of the 21st century.
Many Kumbhs for the ‘yatra’ (pilgrimage)
Cleverly, the organisation used Hindu culture and mythology to garner support for the conserving a biodiversity hotspot – Ram Sethu or Adam’s Bridge, which is a breakwater formation that separates the fierce waters of the Bay of Bengal from the calmer, more Biodiversity rich waters of the Gulf of Mannar. (See Birmingham and Leicester coverages below for more information on the Ram Sethu and other GYAN projects) GYAN believes that invoking Hindu messages sits naturally with environmental preservation and nurture of nature as these concepts are inbuilt in Hindu culture and the Sanathana Dharma. Hence its use of the Kumbh as a symbol of ‘ the “web of life” and the ecosystem that includes all animals, humans, plants, microscopic creatures and their habitats on the planet’. It is this message that the ‘Peak District for All – Vasudeiva Kutumbhakham’ Initiative found attractive and shared with GYAN. The discussions with the Green Kumbh Yatra organisers in the US and in the UK has reinforced that we are natural allies!
The Leicester Green Kumbh
The Ganesha Walk and the environmental focus of Edward Carpenter were presented to audiences in Birmingham and Leicester who are both keen on working with the Hindu Samaj and the Peak District National Park.
The Green Kumbh took to Manchester and London before it leaves the UK to the US. It has already travelled to Nepal, Kenya and Jerusalem before entering the UK. When it was first launched, the Kumbh was filled with pearls in Hyderabad! It finally arrives in South Korea in January for COP12.
The message from Dr. Braulio F. de Souza Dias, Executive Secretary, Secretariat of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity makes clear the significance of the Green Kumbh initative. He says
“I want to acknowledge the significance of this event and thank the organizers GYAN (The Green Yatra Action Network) & Living Planet Foundation and particularly the founder Kusum Vyas, in Collaboration with DiversEarth, IUCN – Sacred Natural Sites Initiative, Vikasa Tarangini and WCPA Specialist Group on Cultural and Spiritual Values of Protected Areas”.
“I am indeed proud to be your partner in this initiative. Your support of the work of the Convention and its goals of conservation, sustainable use and equitable sharing of benefits is crucial if we are to achieve the revised Strategic Plan and Its 20 Aichi Targets by 2020”.
“The 193 Parties to the CBD are “conscious of the intrinsic value of biological diversity and of the ecological, genetic, social, economic, scientific, educational, cultural, recreational and aesthetic values of biological diversity and its components.” Therefore, the interdependent relationship between biological and cultural diversity constitutes an integral part of the work of the Convention”.
“In the Convention on Biological Diversity, the international community acknowledged the close and traditional dependence of many indigenous and local communities on biological resources, the vital role that these resources play in their lives and livelihoods, and the important contribution that traditional knowledge can make to the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity”.
“Today, the Green Yatra under the leadership of Kusum Vyas the event has made a significant contribution in practical discussions about how pilgrimages and pilgrim routes can be “greener” and sustainable”.
“In recent years, the international community has encouraged valuation of biodiversity which must include its spiritual and cultural values but it is clear that there is much more to do to ensure valuation of nature is adequately and holistically addressed”.
“The CBD has considerably advanced our preliminary work. In distilling our work into outcomes, we are seeking and encouraging the active involvement of faith-based communities in our work”.
Birmingham coverage: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLoJ0PIWHV-UIOhqaatRRKevuq8678gKuo
Leicester coverage: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wa6ifgf19j0&feature=share&list=PLoJ0PIWHV-ULZcqMGyuJUHz8kfTl1eYE5
Details of Green Kumbh and Green Kumbh Yatra on www.livingplanetfoundation.org and www.gyanworldwide.org
Green Kumbh Yatra: Kusum Vyas (USA): +713 876 5400; firstname.lastname@example.org
UK Coordinator for Green Kumbh: Mr. Harish Mandalia, Leicester; email@example.com
‘Peak District – Access for All : Vasudeiva Kutumbhakham’ contact : Dr. Chamu Kuppuswamy, firstname.lastname@example.org