Kali Bein is one of the important rivulets in Punjab state of India. Emerging from a spring near Hoshiarpur, it flows through Kapurthala and Sultanpur Lodhi, it runs a course of 160 Km to meet the legendary river Sutlej near Harike Pattan.
The first guru of Sikhs, Guru Nanak Dev used to take dip in the stream. During all religious occasions, the people of Punjab will dunk in this river for purification. It was believed that Guru Nanak Dev had begun his holy march to deliver the word of God, from the river’s bank and attained enlightenment and went on to found the Sikh religion.In the reign of Akbar the river was brick lined and the Gurdwara at Sultanpur Lodhi stands on its banks.
Yet, by the year 2000, the river became a cesspool. It became stagnant and full of pollution due to mindless discharge of pollutants by industries. Then another Sant, Balbir Singh Seechwal,. It was a daunting task. Government was also to blame for this mess.
“In 2000, Seechawal, a Sikh holy man, set out to clean up the mess in the river. But he volunteers cleared the entire riverbed of water hyacinth and silt, and built riverbanks and roads alongside the river.
Seechawal launched a public-awareness campaign asking the villagers to dispose of their sewage elsewhere and some
people revived traditional methods of waste disposal and treatment. The river has now reborn and pure water flows through it. Treated water is sent to fields and works as organic manure. The water table level has come up again and area has become green again.
Time Magazine has profiled the Sikh sect leader as one of the 30 “Heroes of Environment” selected from across the globe.
In passing, it is to emphasized that Guru was an environmentalist and was aware of the importance of pure air, water and earth free from pollution.
In his “Bani”, the Guru Ji has equated the air with Guru(teacher), water to the father and earth to the mother.