New Delhi, Delhi, March 28 : Indians across the country today switched off lights from 8.30 pm onwards and once again expressed their solidarity for Earth Hour – WWF’s largest initiative to raise public awareness. This year, Earth Hour also went beyond the hour with several people switching off non-essential lights for an hour while also committing to more actions for a sustainable lifestyle, sending out the powerful global message of change in lifestyle to a more sustainable pattern of consumption. From candle light vigils to musical performances, several activities were organized across the country as people joined this largest global campaign on climate change.* India Gate switches off as a symbolic show of support
* Major landmarks across India were switched off
* Defence establishments like NDA participated with great enthusiasm
* Events were organized all across the country – Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata , Cochin, Gangtok and over 25 other cities joined in
* ING Vysya Bank, HSBC, Infosys, CB Richard Ellis, ITC, Wipro, ICICI Bank etc. switched off non-essential lights across all their properties in the country
* Huge supporter base on social media like twitter, Facebook added to the success of the campaign this year
In New Delhi, a spectacular musical evening was organized in the lawns of India Gate where Palash Sen, the lead vocalist of the popular Indian band Euphoria, left the audience mesmerized. The event was witnessed by Hon’ble Chief Minister of New Delhi, Smt Sheila Dikshit, along with well-known Bollywood actor Vidya Balan , Jim Leape, Director General of WWF-International and Ravi Singh, Secretary General and & CEO of WWF-India. They carried out India Gate’s ceremonial switch off at 8.30 pm and India Gate continued to dazzle with candles long after the lights at the iconic monument were switched off.
In Mumbai, popular landmarks such as Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Bandra Worli Sea Link, ITC Maratha, Taj Lands End switched off lights. So did headquarters of several public and private sector organisations like Air India, ICICI and HSBC, to name a few. The city of Bangalore too showcased its support towards Earth Hour. Brigade Road, ING Vysya, Infosys and Crowne Plaza Hotel are few of the many who came out very strongly to support this cause. The movement was massive at the level of individuals. Thousands of people across several housing societies in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore organized their own events with some of them coming on the streets to show their support by participating in candle light vigils. Localities like Rohini and Dwarka in Delhi, Hiranandani Gardens in Mumbai and JayaNagar in Bangalore went a step ahead and took the participation to a whole new level by engaging in a spectrum of activities like running black out contests, watching the cricket match as a community, some even doing prayers in candle light!
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister of Delhi, Smt. Sheila Dikshit thanked citizens of Delhi on taking the Earth Hour 2011 to the next level and making it a grand success. She said, “Delhi has come together again this year and pledged their support for Earth Hour India. The city plunged in darkness for a brighter tomorrow and we hope that Earth Hour sensitizes each of one of us for making the shift to a better lifetyle.” Excited to see the commitment of Delhites at India Gate, Jim Leape, Director General, WWF International, said, “We are seeing a boom in participation in many of the world’s emerging economies this year, an encouraging sign as these countries begin to take an increasingly prominent place on the world stage.” said WWF International Director General Jim Leape, present at India’s official switch off event at India Gate in New Delhi. “The incredible participation in Earth Hour this year, especially right here in New Delhi, is testimony to a great concern about the health of the living resources on which we all depend, and a recognition that each of us can play a part in building a sustainable future.”
Ravi Singh, Secretary General and CEO, WWF-India said “I am extremely pleased to see Indians across the country coming together for Earth Hour 2011. This year, we appeal to all the supporters to go beyond the hour, and make conservation an intrinsic part of everyday life. Looking at the huge impact of this extraordinary campaign, one can assess the power of individual action for a better tomorrow.” He added, “I would like to thank the State Governments, several public and private sector organizations, institutions across the country and all other partners and supporters for making this
campaign a roaring success.” Vidya Balan expressed her solidarity to Earth Hour 2011 “I am both privileged and elated to be part of Earth Hour 2011. It is encouraging to see the support that our very own citizens have lent to Earth Hour. I am personally participating in Earth Hour on 26 March 2011, and pledge to take action even beyond the hour. Each one of us has the power to make a difference. We just need to be conscious of it and make wise choices. When each of us take simple steps, together these actions add up. ”
India joined the Earth Hour campaign in 2009 by with 56 cities participating in the first year. By 2010, Earth Hour grew to become the greatest environmental action in history, and individuals and businesses across 125 cities in India came together to show the path to a sustainable future. Earth Hour 2010 registered a 40% increase in participation over 2009 as 7 million people in India alone switched off lights on that day Switched Off Homes. Popular historical landmarks such as the India Gate, Qutub Minar, Red Fort, Gateway of India, Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus and even hotels,
cinema complexes and shopping malls, enlightened themselves in darkness on March 27, 2010, symbolizing a landmark moment in support of a noble cause.