New Delhi: The orange glow of lamps at the India Gate blinked off, letting stars shimmer down as the lights at the monument were switched off to mark the fifth Earth hour at 8.30 p.m. Saturday.
Some 200 cadets from the National Cadet Corps formed ’60+’, the Earth Hour logo, in front of India Gate.
The event, organised by World Wildlife Fund(WWF), symbolised the “need to mark these 60 minutes with our willingness to conserve energy and then go beyond the 60 minutes of Earth Hour”, said Rudra Ghose, a co-ordinator at the event.
According to WWF programme director Sejal Worah: “The Earth Hour campaign has gained the momentum that carries it to every corner of the country.”
Cricketer Sachin Tendulkar is the brand ambassador for the campaign in India. Several celebrities such as Rituparna Sengupta and Dhanush are also supporting the campaign.
Science Popularisation Association of Communicators and Educators (SPACE), an amateur astronomy organisation, set up telescopes at India Gate to let the public observe the night sky without the light pollution caused by the lights at the monument.
“Now that the lights are off, the sky has become clearer and many stars could be seen which were earlier too dim to be seen in the artificial lights,” said Sneh, one of the SPACE volunteers.
“As the World celebrates Earth Hour by switching off the lights across the globe for an hour it reminds us of the scarcity of energy,” said Arun Gupta, managing director of NTL electronics, a leading lighting manufacturers.
Said to be the largest environmental campaign in history, Earth Hour was first observed in Sydney in 2007, in order to send a strong message calling for action on climate change and environmental conservation.
The event has gone global, with organisers claiming that more than 6000 cities and towns across a record 150 countries are set to switch off their lights for the hour this year. In the capital, lights were switched off at several monuments such as the Qutab Minar and Humayun’s Tomb, besides India Gate.