The 2011 Earth Hour, from 8.30 pm onwards on March 26, will cover 6,000 cities in 131 countries, said Jim Leape, director-general of World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), which has organised the event. Giving credit to social networking sites and dedicated individuals, Leape said it has turned into the world’s biggest annual participatory event to spread the message ‘Live in the planet. The way we can sustain’.
Ravi Singh, CEO of WWF India, said for Indians the event “shows our love for Dharti Mata (the motherland)”.
Earth Hour has grown big in India with 11,500 schools committing to the campaign and almost all government institutions, including the Army, participating in it.
There have also been touching individual efforts. One man in Etawah, Uttar Pradesh, is spending Rs 15,000 of his own money to run the campaign while students of a school without power in Madhya Pradesh will light candles to observe the day.
“It’s about individuals more than organisations,” Singh said.
Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit will administer a pledge to all state government officials to switch off the lights for an hour on Saturday. Delhi Speaker Yoganand Shastri will administer a similar pledge to 70 legislators.