International Conference on "Sustainable Health and Word Peace"
On Sunday, February 6, 2005, an international Conference on "Environment and Sustainable Health" took place at OM Vishwa Deep Gurukul Swami Maheshwarananda Ashram, Jadan, Rajasthan in India. The Conference was organised by the Yoga in Daily Life Foundation, New Delhi, and endorsed by His Holiness Mahamandaleshwar Paramhans Swami Maheshwarananda. The focus of the Conference was Healthy Nourishment: "Healthy nourishment creates a healthy body and a healthy mind, and subsequently it creates healthy families, healthy communities and a healthy planet, where all can live in peace and harmony."
The Conference aimed to develop practical plans to support and realise the UN Millennium Development Goals, with specific focus on:
- Eradicating extreme poverty and hunger
- Reducing child mortality
- Improving maternal health
- Ensuring environmental sustainability
The entire Conference was a great success and an inspiration for similar events in the future. It brought together both organic and non-organic farmers, members of the local community, community leaders, local businessmen, politicians, and international guest speakers. Two special guests of honour were Sri Laxmi Narayan Dave, Minister of the Environment in Rajasthan, and Sri Gulabji Kothari, editor and owner of the Rajasthan Patrika, the largest newspaper in Rajasthan.
The event commenced with a performance from the children of the Ashram Gurukul, reciting the 15th chapter of the Bhagavad Gita. Later in the proceedings, His Holiness Swamiji and the two guests of honour, Sri Laxmi Narayan Dave and Sri Gulab Kothari, presented selected local organic farmers with Awards of Recognition for their efforts in promoting and practising of organic farming. During his speech, Sri Gulabji Kothari, besides addressing environmental issues, also commented that the problems we have with the environment and within ourselves come from our way of thinking. Therefore the solutions to our problems will come from positive and creative thinking, as well as control of the senses, intellect and emotions.
After many inspiring and informative speeches, His Holiness Swamiji, together with Laxmi Narayan Dave and Sri Gulabji Kothari signed a special Resolution, intended to deepen the awareness of the community to the negative effects of pollution on the Environment and our health, and to put forward ideas, strategies and support networks that promote a clean and chemical-free Environment. The Resolution states that the organisers and participants of the Conference hold a commitment to:
- Awaken the consciousness of people towards a healthy way of life.
- Promote organic farming; food produce should be sattvic, vegetarian and natural.
- Lead life according to the highest principles of Ahimsa.
- Promote vegetarian diet.
- Motivate farmers to utilise organic manure; and to protect, preserve and produce original domestic seeds and grains without any genetic manipulation or use of chemicals.
- Avoid use of any kind of chemical fertilisers or pesticides.
- Form a committee to buy organic products and make them available to the community.
- Awaken awareness for the environment; and preserve, protect and plant native varieties of trees.
- Promote and utilise modern systems of irrigation that use less water and have better crop yields; make people aware that farm animals are an important link in achieving this aim.
- Encourage every individual to be an active example of environmental awareness, avoiding non-recyclable litter and reviving the ancient tradition of using cotton carrier bags (instead of plastic ones).
- Respect neighbour's land as one’s own, by not littering on neighbouring properties.
- Give recognition/reward to farmers who use 100% organic methods for growing crops (free of chemical pesticides and fertilisers).
- Promote mutual understanding and harmony between different religions and societies; and to realise harmonious, peaceful and mutual understanding between people at household, village, district and national levels.
Environment and Sustainable Health