Delhi braces for Earth Hour Saturday

March 25th, 2011 - 9:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Vidya Balan New Delhi, March 25 (IANS) Delhiites plan to throng the India Gate lawns Saturday to observe the third edition of Earth Hour along with the cause ambassador and Bollywood starlet Vidya Balan, while grooving to the beats of popular music band Euphoria.

Earth Hour is organised annually on the last Saturday of March by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). Over 4,000 cities - including New Delhi and Mumbai - from 131 countries will be turning off their lights during the global event, an WWF official said.

“I’ll be going to the event with my college friends and we all love Palash Sen of Euphoria. Moreover, I think this is a great way to save our planet,” said 19-year-old Gunjan Ahuja of Delhi University.

Ahuja added that her group was a staunch supporter of the Earth Hour and have been switching off their lights every last Saturday of March since the last three years.

Earth Hour started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia when 2.2 million individuals and over 2,000 businesses turned their lights off for one hour to take a stand against climate change.

India joined the campaign in 2009 and presently, mainly the urban centres in the country are participating.

Meanwhile, Sanjay Verma, 35, a diehard fan of Balan said with the actress appointed as the cause ambassador for the initiative, it will provide much more mileage to the cause and would increase its glamour quotient.

“She’s a fine actor and many across the country, including me, admire her looks as well as acting skills. Her attachment with this cause will provide some charm to the event and I am sure this time round more people will turn up for the event,” said Verma.

The campaign message this year is to go beyond the hour and commit oneself to a more sustainable way of living everyday, and not just for an hour, the WWF said.

Earth Hour 2011 marks the start of a new phase for the movement, which is also reflected in the new “60+” logo, representing a commitment to add a positive act for the planet.

“It is heartening to receive such tremendous support from across the country. We are now hoping to multiply the initiative across the social spectrum and reach out to governments, organisations, and individuals, especially the youth across the country,” Ravi Singh, secretary general and chief executive of WWF-India said.

India joined the campaign by committing the support of two cities - Delhi and Mumbai - but finally almost 56 cities supported it.

During Earth Hour 2010, more than five million people in India switched off lights.

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.

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