Earth Hour in India, millions turn off lights for one hour

From Rashtrapati Bhavan to small homes, millions across the country switched off lights.

Updated: Mar 26, 2011, 23:34 PM IST

New Delhi: From Rashtrapati Bhavan to
small homes, luxury hotels to prominent landmarks, and top IT
companies to shopping malls, millions of people across the
country switched off their lights for an hour tonight to
observe `Earth Hour`, a global climate awareness initiative.

India joined a record 133 countries to raise awareness
about climate change through the movement for voluntary black
out that began in Sydney in 2007 to reduce energy consumption.

Designed as a symbolic act to make people aware of
everyday energy use, `Earth Hour` has evolved into a global
movement, and this year it took place for 60 minutes from 8:30

It was lights out at several government buildings,
private banks and ITC hotels during this time.

Candlelight get-togethers were also organised to show
commitment of people to save power -- and have fun at the same

Rashtrapati Bhavan led the nation in observing `Earth
Hour` which had "Go beyond the hour" as the theme by switching
off all the lights in the building`s exterior.

During the one hour period, all non-essential lights in
the Rashtrapati Bhavan, the President`s Estate and also the
family wing of President Pratibha Patil were switched off, a
Rashtrapati Bhavan spokesperson said tonight.

Bollywood star Vidya Balan , who is the cause ambassador
of the third edition of `Earth Hour`, was in the capital to
observe the hour along with Delhiites. Music band Euphoria
also performed on the occasion at the India Gate lawns.

The campaign message this year is to go beyond the hour
and commit oneself to a more sustainable way of living every
day, and not just for an hour, the World Wide Fund for Nature
(WWF) said.

Popular landmarks like the India Gate, the Qutub Minar
and the Red Fort in Delhi, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus
and the Gateway of India in Mumbai, national defence
establishments, universities, hotels, cinema complexes and
shopping malls across the nation participated in the event.

In Bangalore, the silicon city observed the `Earth Hour`
with software firms, commercial establishments and even the
international airport chipping in for the cause.

Software major, Infosys Technologies which had
formulated `Clean-n-Green Bengalaru` drive as part of Earth
Hour campaign, took the activity to the popular MG Road and
Brigade Road, to highlight the need for community
participation in ensuring a "Clean and Green city".

A centrally coordinated one hour switch off was
conducted across all its offices, with recordings of power
savings besides contests and inviting entries from the
employees during the switch off period under the theme "My 60
Minutes for Earth".

In keeping with the `sustainable` theme, switch-off
carols and candle-light march was organised on office floors
to promote awareness on `Earth Hour`.

Another IT major, Wipro shut down air conditioners at
its offices across nine cities for an hour.

Wipro employees observed the `Earth Hour` after office
hours by implementing shut down at home.

About 125 shops and establishments under the Bangalore
Trade Association switched off lights for an hour from 8.30

The Bengaluru International Airport held a signature
campaign at the arrival and departure terminals with Baggage
tags having `Earth Hour` messages and people holding lit
candles outside the waiting area of the airport.

Candle lights were in flow glow at all malls.
In Mumbai, the `Earth Hour` kicked off with a large
candle light procession from Mayor Shraddha Jadhav`s official
residence at Shivaji Park.

Several organisations and individual volunteers also
participated in the campaign in the country`s financial
capital in large numbers.

Among the prominent places where non-essential,
high-power halogens and others lights went off were Mantralaya
and New Administrative Buildings, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus
and several private housing and office complexes across the

Decorative lights on the Rajiv Gandhi Bandra-Worli sea
link were also switched off during the period.

Actress Minissha Lamba tweeted "today from 8.30 pm to
9.30 pm, let`s bring out the romance of life with candles."