Cinemas, banks, hotels to switch off lights during Earth Hour

March 27th, 2009 - 6:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Aamir Khan New Delhi, March 27 (IANS) There will be candle-light dinners, special movie screenings in cinema halls and dance performances on a lamp-lit stage, as Delhi - along with 2,000 other cities across the world - switches off its lights for an hour Saturday evening to send out a strong message against climate change.
A global initiative that aims to send out the message that people are concerned about climate change and that policy makers should make it their foremost priority, Earth Hour - between 8.30 p.m. to 9.30 p.m. - will be observed Saturday when households and businesses will switch off non-essential lights.

“We are overwhelmed with the support that the campaign has received. From celebrities like Aamir Khan and Amitabh Bachchan to common people, students and professionals, from the Residents Welfare Associations (RWA) and corporates, a large number of people have lend their support to the global campaign,” said Ravi Singh, secretary general of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Delhi, at a press conference in the capital Friday.

Delhi will join 2,000 cities in 85 countries - including Britain, Australia, Singapore, the US and Finland - to observe the Earth Hour. The campaign started in Sydney, Australia, 2007 and has since become a global campaign.

“It’s probably for the first time that the entire globe will come together for an event concerning the environment. We are happy that in India, the Delhi government has given all its support for the campaign while a number of other states have decided to observe the Earth Hour as well,” Singh said.

Among the 50 corporates which have promised to be a part of the campaign is the ITC group of hotels which will switch off their lights and have candle light dinners during the Earth Hour. Banks such as ICICI, HDFC and HSBC and companies like Wipro and HP have also pledged their support.

“We are also happy that the PVR cinemas have decided to screen special Earth Hour movies and will switch off their non-essential lights during the Earth Hour,” Singh added.

The Delhi government has informed 2,000 schools, 120 colleges and 2,000 RWAs about the campaign, distributed Earth Hour movie slides to 50 cinema halls and urged the state government officials to support it.

“We are especially happy with the huge support of the students. Nearly 20,000 students in Delhi and Mumbai have pledged their support to the campaign and ther are hundreds of others in other places like Meghalaya, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka who have called us saying the same,” Singh said.

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