They turned off all lights and appliances on their campus between 8.30 pm to 9.30 pm on Saturday. But cricket crazy management students at NITIE in Powai didn’t want to switch off from the quarter-final match between England and Sri Lanka.
Even as a session on the significance of the Earth Hour was underway on the campus grounds, compere Santosh N, kept updating his classmates with the match score through the hour. “We wanted to make Earth Hour fun and not seem like a punishment. So we decided to announce the scores at intervals. We made arrangement to get our friends outside campus to sending us scores via SMS,” said Prabhjot Maggo, a management student.
Students at institute also attempted broad-basing the event. Three days ago, they floated a national essay and poster-making competition in about 25 business schools across India. “We want to provoke thought because the environment is going to play a very important role in future businesses,” said Maggo.
Apart from candle light marches, peace walks, quiz competitions on the environment and graffiti on the walls during the designated 60 minutes, the city on Saturday evening also saw many residential societies, corporate houses and academic institutes switch off non-essential lights and electric appliances for one hour. Those who could not participate in the Earth Hour, did their bit during the day. For instance, students at the Vidya Bhushan School at Dahisar carried out a signature campaign between 7.30 am to 10am around the school premises and the bus stop to promote the Earth Hour.
This is the third year that Mumbai has observed Earth Hour. Organised by the World Wide Fund (WWF) for Nature, the city has conserved around 100 megwatt power in the last two years. Last year, over six million people across India participated in the campaign. Nationally, the energy saved in 2009 was 1,150 megawatt and 900 megawatt in 2010. But it was the first time residents of Powai-based Kailash Towers turned off the mains to 86 flats and the elevator.
“By switching off our lights, we felt one with families across the country who have absolutely no access to electricity. It’s a also a good test of how well we can stay without something that we take for granted every day,” said Ramesh Gupta, secretary of the building.
But perhaps it was Rakesh Shah (14) who made the most of the one-hour break from studies.
“It’s exam time and ideally I would have been asked to study. Thankfully, my parents decided to switch off lights at home. And that’s brought down my study time by one hour at least for today,” said the Class 8 student.