In the season of election slogans and posters, a placard screaming “Vote Earth — Your light switch is your vote” caught everyone’s eyes at India Gate on Saturday evening.
Students, officers, teachers, tourists and families had assembled there with candles and solar lanterns in hand for Earth Hour 2012 between 8.30pm and 9.30pm. R Venkatesh, an army officer, was there with his wife and two sons. Ved and Parth, both less than eight years old, did not understand much. “But I explained to them the need for energy conservation. They will see this event, ask questions and retain the image for the future,” he said.
Holding candles and wearing Earth Hour T-shirts, NCC cadets joined the gathering in shouting “Save Earth”. A young Aquiq Raza had come with her colleagues from Steria India Ltd. “We will display this in the office proudly,” she said after a group picture holding candles.
Into the fourth year, the Earth Hour is observed by switching off non-essential lights for an hour to join the growing worldwide community concerned with the environment. Apart from India Gate, lights were switched off at Rashtrapati Bhavan, too.
Residents across Delhi, several government establishments and, in general, the common man chipped in for the event.
“I have switched off everything. Our association has told resident to keep lights off for an hour. As many as 60% of the residents complied,” DM Narang, general secretary, Rajouri Garden RWA, said.
There was mixed response elsewhere. “We tried spreading the message among as many people as we could. Some, however, did not care,” said Rajiv Kakria, member of the RWA, Greater Kailash-1.
Gulshan Rai from Janakpuri in west Delhi said that while residents had volunteered to participate in Earth Hour, it was a a poor show by commercial establishments . South Delhi shops too did not participate.
About 20 RWAs joined in the initiative in north Delhi.