30 Mar 2015 - 2:22pm | Syed Miraz Ahmed
WWF-India celebrated the seventh year of Earth Hour and third in Guwahati through a Cyclothon in the morning, Green Fair, Candle March and a series of programme in the evening here at DighaliPukhuri Park today in the presence of WWF-India’s Ambassador for Assam, popular singer, MrDikshuSarmah. Switching off between 8:30pm and 9:30pm on the last Saturday of March the Earth Hour is a global people’s movement inspiring individuals from more than 7000 cities across the globe and 150 in India to take a stand against climate change, making it the largest voluntary movement ever witnessed in history. The Green Fair at DighaliPukhuri Park showcased renewable energy products along with various ‘eco-friendly’ items. The fair was followed by a candle march and a cultural programme.
Like every year, this year’s Earth Hour campaign saw celebrities from various corners of the country, endorsing the campaign. Apart from National brand ambassador, actor Arjun Kapoor, Assamese singer DikshuSarmah, tennis star SaniaMirza, southern actress Priya Mani, Bengali actress June Maliah and Tamil actor Bharath, all voiced their association with the cause and invited citizens of their city to come forward and participate in the initiative.
Emphasizing his support for Earth Hour, Dikshu said, “I am really very proud to be a part of Earth Hour 2015. This prestigious campaign by WWF has spread awareness about climate change through the masses and has encouraged us to fight against its adverse effects. I am very happy to be associated with a noble cause like this.”
Earth Hour 2015 is built around the theme of “India Unplugged”, asking people across the country not only to switch off, but also to explore and adopt a cleaner and more sustainable lifestyle by embracing renewable energy solutions. The campaign encourages
• Individuals to adopt household products powered by renewable energy;
• Corporates to adopt renewable energy solutions to run their business operations and production processes;
• Governments to promote policies favorable to the production and uptake of renewable energy
Taking forward the theme of renewable energy, WWF-India also launched the “SahasraJyoti” or “Beacon for the Sundarbans” initiative during Earth Hour 2015 which aims at bringing sustainable development to the Sundarbans landscape in India, by enabling energy access to 1000 households in the region - all through solar energy. The project, looking to raise funds through a crowd funding model and corporate support, will aim at setting up individual micro solar power stations for 15-20 hamlets covering 1000 households in the Satjelia Island in the Sundarbans region of West Bengal.
Speaking about the campaign, Mr. Ravi Singh, Secretary General & CEO, WWF-India said, “Earth Hour brings together people across the globe to express their concern over the global crisis of climate change. In India, the campaign spans more than 150 cities, providing a platform to create awareness on renewable energy amongst individuals, corporate entities and decision-makers, while influencing behavior, opinions and policy to help mitigate the effects of climate change. The campaign’s messaging and open-source model encourages participation in a symbolic switch off and leads people to adopt sustainable practices in order to conserve the finite resources of our planet. This year, Earth Hour hopes to reach out to a much larger number of people than before to promote the benefits of renewable energy".
Archita Baruah Bhattacharyya, Senior Programme Officer, WWF-India has informed that In Guwahati Earth Hour programme schools like Maharishi VidyaMandir School (Rajgarh Road), Sudarshan Public School, El Rhino, Euon Technology & Logistics Pvt. Ltd, etc, participated in the green fair. At the Earth Hour programme in Guwahati which was performed during switch off by using only renewable energy sources like solar lantern to lighten up the stage. Performances by Assam Bamboo Band, Maharishi School (Rajgarh), Sudarshan School, TISS students and the Brand Ambassador Dikshu sang some of his favourites spellbound the crowd. Apart from these two schools large number of students from DPS Guwahati, a band from South Pont School, TISS students, IIT Reflux students from National Law University along with a host of supporters along with Brand Ambassador Dikshu actively participated in the Candle March around Dighalipukhuri. At 8.30 p.m. Switch-off the ground of the venue was specially decorated with candles writing 60+ Earth Hour 2015 Assam. Various Government, public and private organization and offices like the DC Court, the Gauhati High Court, SrimantaSandardevKalakshetra and others to name a few supported the cause by switching off their non-essential lights during Earth Hour in Assam. While Assam Tourism Development Corporation Limited, Assam Energy Development Agency, APDCL has supported the campaign in Guwahati. WWF-India has received support from State Bank of India, LIC of India, Network Travels, AADI Advertising & Publicity, J K Educational & Charitable Trust, and many other individuals and organizations.
Apart from the event in Guwahati, Earth Hour 2015 also saw a large number of events across the country. While cyclothons are being held in Guwahati, Hyderabad and Trivandrum, other events like green fairs and exhibitions of solar energy applications are being organized in Guwahati, Simla and Kolkata. Signature campaigns, candle marches and music concerts are also being held across the country in Mumbai, Delhi, Bhopal, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Shimla, Trivandrum, Kochi, Amritsar, Jaipur and other places. Earth Hour 2015 has got support from the government, corporates and organizations that have come forward to pledge their support for the cause. Apart from the above, various corporate and organizations across the country have pledged their support online for the cause.
About WWF-India and Earth Hour
WWF-India is one of India’s leading conservation organizations with programmes and projects spread across the country. The organization works towards the conservation of biodiversity, natural habitats and the reduction of humanity’s ecological footprint. The mission of WWF-India is to stop the degradation of the earth's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature.
Earth Hour is WWF’s global initiative and the largest environmental campaign in history where citizens around the world show their support for action on climate change by turning off non-essential lights for one hour, between 8:30pm-9:30pm. This year Earth Hour is scheduled for 28 March 2015 between 8:30pm and 9:30pm. Being implemented in India since 2009, the Earth Hour campaign has inspired individuals, governments and corporations to move towards responsible consumption and conservation of energy. It has received unprecedented support, demonstrated by participation in over 150 towns and cities by several city governments, the armed forces, public and private sector companies, celebrities and individuals. The RashtrapatiBhavan, the Prime Minister’s residence, residences of Chief Ministers and government buildings in every participating city have turned off lights every year, as a symbolic show of support.