It’s 7 pm and the lights have been switched on in every home that has electricity. In fact, energy is something we’ve taken for granted for long. Not anymore. As India participates in the two-week-long Copenhagen Climate Change Summit, we tell you how you can start acting now.
Have you ever thought what life would be without light? And the dark ages are sure to strike back if we don’t act now. As India participates in the summit that addresses the issue of climate change at Copenhagen, a group of conservationists are doing their bit to conserve energy through a campaign called Batti Bandh on December 12.
The group, which aims at making people aware of how they adversely affect the environment and how even a small change can make a big difference, was started by Keith Menon in 2007.
This group, which was inspired to formulate the Batti Bandh campaign by the success of Earth Hour 60 in Sydney, Australia, is not just restricting itself to conserving energy. It also believes in saving the environment, looking at sustainability and playing games with garbage to dispose it correctly.
The group couldn’t hold the campaign in 2008 because of the terror attacks, but this time they’re geared for a better response than their first campaign. “We’re having a host of events that will act as a run up to the campaign on December 12,” says Kaizad Bhamgara, spokesperson and one of the members of the Batti Bandh campaign. On December 12, the campaign will come to a head as the group would request all the people of Mumbai to switch off their lights for one hour between 7.30 pm and 8.30 pm.
“The amount of energy that a city like Mumbai conserves by just switching off their lights for only one hour is phenomenal,” says Bhamgara, adding that during the campaign in 2007, the amount of energy conserved by an hour of lights off was equivalent to putting 2.5 lakh cars off the road forever. “This year, we plan to do even better as we are planning to get enough people aware about the campaign,” he explains. And technology’s coming to the rescue of the group to get more people to know about this initiative. Networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, SMS campaigns and email messages are being used by the group to reach out to a large audience.
“We are also in the process of tying up with schools and corporates to unplug, even if it is just for five minutes on the day of the Batti Bandh campaign,” says Bhamgara.
Celebrity activists such as Rahul Bose, Sushma Reddy and Anushka Manchanda have already pledged their support to the campaign. “Of course there will be more celebs who would be joining us on the day of the campaign,” says Bhamgara, who prefers to remain tight-lipped about the celeb turnout on the day of the event. He, however, says that the event is not restricted to Mumbai only. The group plans to take the campaign to cities such as Bangalore, Hyderabad and Delhi after December 12.
But, till then the group plans to create awareness about conservation through various drives such as a cycle fest that starts at Nariman Point and Bandra. The fest would encourage people to use the bicycle more often. Then there’s an awareness campaign called Spread Out where the group would get people to give their views on global warming on a huge canvas that would be spread on Carter Road, Bandra. And then, of course, on December 12, they would be asking people to switch off their lights between 7.30 pm and 8.30 pm.
So what are you going to do? Switch off, or remain in the dark?