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4.8.09

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Akal Takht, the highest Sikh temporal body, has embraced the save-the-environment mantra telling Sikhs across the world it was

their ''moral and religious duty'' to care for the nature.

Akal Takht Jathedar Gurbachan Singh gave a religious call to the community on Sunday saying Sikhs should now focus on cleaning the natural water resources rather than spending more money on building up new gurdwaras.

''Whereever in the world you (Sikhs) may be, your focus should now be on cleaning up of natural water resources rather than building gurdwaras,'' he said at a function here on the ninth anniversary of cleaning of Kali Bein, a river in Kapurthala district.

Environmentalists said the Jathedar has set a precedent with his call for saving the environment from depletion. Many said the call would prompt devotees to do their bit for the environment.

Some said the appeal from the Jathedar could make other religious leaders to think about contributing to the environment. It could even help save the most important river in the country, the Ganges river, they added.

The Kali Bein, a much polluted river flowing through Sultanpur Lodhi, was cleaned in an initiative by the Akhat Takht Jathedar through community participation.

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