India votes for Earth: Switch Off Campaign receives national support
Dr R.K. Pachauri, Director- General, TERI and Chairperson, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and Mr. Ravi Singh, Secretary General and CEO, WWF-India to address the crowd present at Dilli Haat before switching off for Earth Hour (c) Rohit Kr. Mishra/WWF-India
New Delhi, March 29, 2009: Hundreds of thousands of Indians joined millions of people globally as the clock struck half past eight Indian Standard Time to vote for Earth in what was perhaps the biggest mandate against Climate Change. Several corporates, Resident Welfare Associations, school and college students observed Earth Hour across Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai and at least 25 other Indian cities by organising events, candle-light dinners and vigils as they turned off non-essential lights.
A quick snapshot of major activities and events that took place across the country is given below:
Accompanied by pelting rain and loud claps of thunder, Delhiities braved it out and observed Earth Hour as a memorable example of the indomitable spirit of its citizens to stand up and raise its voice in a call for decisive action on climate change. Venturing out in the stormy weather, Dr R.K. Pachauri, Director- General, TERI and Chairperson, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, joined the large crowds gathered at Dilli Haat, to lend his support to the cause. Drawing attention to the unpredictable weather patterns, which are an inevitable outcome of Climate Change, he reiterated that this is a phenomenon that affects each one of us, and that it was time all countries took responsibility for the changes and ensured remedial actions. He added that India should take the lead and set an example for the world to take action on climate change
Lights around Qutub Minar, Humayun’s Tomb, Red Fort, Old Fort, Safdarjung Tomb and Connaught Place were dimmed during Earth Hour. The Ashok Hotel - the flagship hotel of Indian Tourism Development Corporation - went into darkness at the appointed hour as did several other landmarks in the city like the Lt. Governor’s residence, offices of the government of Delhi, leading corporate headquarters, housing societies and PVR cinemas.
Mr. Ravi Singh, Secretary General and CEO, WWF-India said ‘It is heartening to see the overwhelming support from people of all sections of society and across all walks of life. Earth Hour shows the power of collective action towards a vote for the planet.”
Mr. J.K. Dadoo, Secretary Environment, Government of National Capital Territory, Delhi lent his wholehearted support to the campaign and ensured it successful implementation across Delhi, showing his deep commitment to the cause of climate change.
Mumbai also turned its lights out with several of its landmark buildings switching off at 8:30pm. Air India Building, headquarters of the Municipal Corporation, Reserve Bank of India, ICICI Bank, and HDFC Bank joined in by turning off all non-essential lights at their facilities. WWF-India also organized a candle light meeting at BPT Park which was bolstered by participation of residents, students, local authorities and the media.
Bangalore saw a voluntary blackout of its most famous street - Brigade Road, and its biggest retail establishment - Forum Mall.
Lights of two important heritage buildings, the Church on the ridge and the Town Hall on the Mall Road were switched off.
A candle light rally was held at M.G road in the heart of the city and 25,000 households also switched off.
Hundreds of citizens across other Indian cities from Dehradun to Kochi, and Ahmedabad to Gangtok, from Mau to Chennai added to the tremendous participation in Earth Hour- a very positive and strong message underlining the need for immediate action.
At the time of compiling this information, there are more reports coming in from several other towns and municipalities, resident associations and housing societies all of whom came forward in their voluntary support to this global campaign.
For further queries please contact
Earth Hour Coordinator