Himalayan monks to launch green movement in Kolkata

December 16, 2010
Indo-Asian News Service

Kolkata - The fast-melting glaciers in the Himalayas could destroy Hindu pilgrimage spots as well as the caves where thousands of sadhus meditate, and monks have decided to launch a green movement by planting trees in and around Kolkata city and the Sundarbans area, said a spiritual leader just back from the Cancun climate summit.

Talking about the ill effects global warming, Soham Baba, chief of Naga Sadhus, said here Thursday: 'The glaciers across the Himalayan region are melting at an alarming rate which may lead to destruction of Hindu pilgrimage spots and meditative places of thousands of monks. A large number of birds and medicinal plants have also disappeared from the mountain range.'

'In continuation of my Global Green Movement, to protect mother nature the 'Soham Baba Mission' (a NGO run by Baba) has planned to plant a large number of trees in and around the city of Kolkata. We also plan to undertake mangrove plantation in the Sunderbans,' he told a media gathering.

'The Himalayan region is the most sensitive area, where three nations - India, China and Pakistan - with large nuclear power are existing. Lately, the huge flood in Pakistan and Ladakh due to the melting snow of the Himalayan peaks, were never so devastating in history. If this climate change of melting ice continues, there will be a huge shortage of drinking water in these countries, and then, the world will face most terrible and devastating scenario,' warned the Baba.

Soham Baba, who hails from Bengal, lives in the caves in Himalayas. He was invited to participate at the United Nations Framework Convention On Climate Change at Cancun, Mexico.

Sharing his experience at the Cancun meet, he said: 'I went there with the hope that there will be a settlement on the Kyoto Protocol, but I was disappointed. The problem of climate change cannot be solved only by investing funds from the developed countries and implementing bureaucracies or diplomacies. A global awareness about a green, healthy and happy planetary community must be manifested,' he said.