Sadhana organizes a cleanup every first Saturday of the month from April through November, engaging local faith-based institutions, congregations, and community based organizations to be environmental stewards.
Sadhana rallies religious community leaders who have already made efforts to keep the beaches clean and to work towards building dialogue about how to address this problem. Our hope is that priests help us make the point that, since our Hindu texts describe the Earth an the water as goddesses, it does not honor them to pollute or destroy them.
In September 2014, Sadhana presented an exhibit called "Sacred Waters" at the Queens Museum, an display of Hindu religious offerings which Sadhana members and other volunteers have collected from Jamaica Bay during our monthly beach clean ups. Sadhana's intention in organizing this exhibition was twofold. First, we hoped to move devotees to worship in more eco-friendly ways, protecting the earth and waters which we deem Prithvi Maa and Ganga Maa respectively. Second, Sadhana we aimed to raise awareness among the broader public that the items are religious offerings being made by devotees and not people who have no respect for nature. All items on display were once part of Hindu religious ceremonies, or "pujas," and were therefore religious offerings. There is a huge amount of litter found at the beach at North Channel Bridge, a bridge which Sadhana has officially "adopted" as part of our partnership with the National Parks Service. While the beach is used, and polluted, by many communities, the most striking objects that one finds strewn across the beach are the religious offerings which were placed in the water by members of the Indo-Caribbean Hindu community, and which have washed up on shore. The offerings include broken murthis (idols of Hindu Gods), saris, bamboo poles, plastic flowers, large coconuts, trays and other materials made of metal, plastic and glass.
project prithvi advisory committee
Rev. Fletcher Harper, Executive Director, Green Faith
Dr. Dhanpaul Narine, President, Shri Trimurti Bhavan
Pandit Umesh Sharma, Shri Vishnu Mandir, Bronx, NY
Kamini Doobay, Student, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine
Pt. Arjunen Armogan, Adi Shakti Maha Kali Mandir, Queens, NY
- Gateway National Recreation Area of the National Parks Service - through a partnership with Gateway, Sadhana has "adopted" areas of Jamaica Bay most frequented by Hindu worshippers. Gateway has also helped Sadhana by providing supplies for our cleanups.
- Citizens Committee for New York City - Project Prithvi is funded in part by a small grant from the Citizens Committee.