Project Prithvi seeks to mobilize Hindus, particularly youth, to be stewards of environmental change by cleaning up Jamaica Bay, known as "New York City's Ganges" (and other local bodies of water where Hindus worship) and advocating for eco-friendly worship practices.
Since 2013, Sadhana has been organizing cleanups on the first Saturday of every month from April through November. Please join us at Jamaica Bay on April 7, May 5, June 2, July 7, August 4, September 1, October 6, and November 3 from 10am - 1pm near the Joseph Addabbo Memorial Bridge (formerly the North Channel Bridge) near the red brick gazebo structure. Note that Jamaica Bay is a large area but we meet near this specific area as it is heavily frequented by Hindu worshippers. See Facebook event page here (visit the event page to get the most up to date information in the event of a cancelation due to inclement weather).
Advocacy through Art:
Sadhana was awarded Citizen Committee for New York City's "Reuse & Repair" Grant for 2018. We have been holding workshops at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge to restore items collected from our cleanups which we find difficult to dispose of - broken murthis, diyas, etc. We involve local community members and the general public to attend the workshops, which uplift various mediums of art and awareness of Hindu religious practices. Our next workshop will be on Saturday, May 12 at 10am at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge's Visitor Center. Participation is free but registration is mandatory! To register, e-mail Aminta at firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, phone number, and the total number of participants.
In September 2014, Sadhana presented "Sacred Waters" at the Queens Museum, a display of Hindu religious offerings which Sadhana members and other volunteers collected from Jamaica Bay during our cleanups. We hoped to move devotees to worship in more eco-friendly ways and 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.
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 and the water as goddesses, it does not honor them to pollute or destroy them.
Project Prithvi Coordinators:
- Aminta Kilawan-Narine, Sadhana Co-Founder
- Rohan Narine, Sadhana Co-Founder
- Hemma Kilawan, Project Management Intern
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
- Dr. Kamini Doobay, Bellevue Hospital-NYU 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 two small grants from the Citizens Committee.