Many opt to put out lights for an hour at 8.30 p.m.
Many Delhiites opted to switch off their lights for an hour at 8-30 p.m. on Saturday as part of Earth Hour-2012 and became part of the world's largest voluntary action for contributing towards a sustainable environment.
Various businesses establishments and communities joined in this voluntary act to spread the message of hope and action to protect the one thing that unites us all — the planet.
Rashtrapati Bhavan too switched off all lights in the building's exterior. Other popular landmarks, including India Gate, Qutub Minar and the Red Fort, national defence establishments, universities, several hotels, cinema complexes and few shopping malls across the city also participated in the event.
Social networking sites burst into action minutes before the ‘switch-off' time, with environment action groups urging the people to contribute towards joining in this voluntary initiative.
The Earth Hour is an initiative of WWF and is listed amongst the largest mass movement for awareness on reducing carbon footprints. “Last year, a total of 5,251 cities were part of Earth Hour and 1.8 billion people participated in the campaign. This hour-long campaign is organised annually on the last Saturday of March. This year, we hope to reach out and include more people in our movement,'' said an official of WWF-Delhi.
Said Rashmi Pal, an employee at the Capital Le Meridien: “We had switched off all major lights in the hotel and in areas where this wasn't possible we dimmed the lights by 40 to 60 per cent. The guests were informed earlier about the hotel's participation in Earth Hour celebrations and we got a very good response from them. The central lawn of the hotel was lit up with candles and the guests were invited to participate in the celebrations here.”
The Science Popularisation Association of Communicators and Educators (SPACE) set up telescopes at India Gate between 7.30 p.m. and 9.30 p.m. for the public to view celestial objects.
“Very often too much light pollution in metropolitan cities allows those living in the urban areas to see only the Moon and few other celestial objects even in clear skies, and the Earth Hour, we thought, would be a good opportunity to help members of the general public take a look at the views of the night sky through telescopes to become more aware of how much more you can see when ambient lights are lower,” said an official with SPACE.