India Celebrates Earth Hour 2016


New Delhi: Thousands of people across the country joined the global community by switching off extra lights in private and government buildings on Saturday evening to mark Earth Hour 2016.

In Mumbai several government and private buildings, public landmarks as well as common citizens contributed to `cooling` the Earth by switching off lights for an hour between 8.30 p.m. and 9.30 p.m.

Those who participated included several celebrities, film and television stars, industrialists and common people in the global initiative of the WWF which turns 10 this year.

This year, the WWF is also promoting `clean and green country` with multiple solar energy reforms following the Paris Climate Conference in December 2015.

Mumbai-based NGO Young Environmentalists organised a cyclothon at daybreak on Saturday and closed with a carnival at Bandra`s coastal Carter Road where solar and paper lanterns were distributed to slum kids from Dharavi.

Reports of lights being switched off were received from other major cities in Maharashtra like Thane, Navi Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Aurangabad and Nashik.

Elsewhere in the country, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh supported the Earth Hour campaign by switching off the lights of his official residence Oakover in Shimla.

He also appealed to residents, educational and other institutions and organisations to ensure switching off of non-essential lights for one hour.

The lights of British-era buildings, including the neo-Gothic Christ Church, located on the historic Ridge were also switched off to mark the occasion.

In Chennai, Col. Sanath Gopinath, head of the Tamil Nadu state office of the WWF, told IANS: “This time we decided to reach out to young people directly.

“We did not approach any government organisation. The idea is to create awareness in the minds of young people.

He said that from March 14 onwards, they have been visiting various colleges in and around Chennai and have spoken to college students on climate change.

“We also took with us Tiffany Maria Brar, a blind social activist running an NGO in Thiruvananthapuram to all the colleges to address the students,” he said.