Lights off!

Lights  off!

Lights off!, switching off lights, Power City. For a change there was no chaos when the night went completely dark. Despite the eerie silence there was celebration all around.

For a change there was no chaos when the night went completely dark. Despite the eerie silence there was celebration all around.

It was Earth Hour on Saturday and the denizens had a welcome change of heart while switching off lights from 8.30pm-9.30pm to highlight the environmental challenges across the world. Several residential areas and hotels stood for the noble cause and expressed their commitment to preserve the environment and make the atmosphere eco-friendly. Apparently, turning off the lights was the first step towards achieving the bigger cause. Unlike the 7,000 cities that joined the mission, it has been doubly sweet for Hyderabadis. The city was recognised by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) as one among global metros to top in initiating action against climate change.

The Earth Hour celebrations in the city began on a grand note on Saturday as actor Ram Charan Tej kicked off the campaign at the Hyderabad Bicycling Club’s (HBC) bike station in Gachibowli. Ram Charan is also the brand ambassador of WWF, Hyderabad. To raise awareness especially among children, about the challenges that the earth faces like depletion of resources, a bike ride was organised by the HBC. The ride was categorised into two categories, 10km and 20km. Close to 1,500 children came from the Chirec Public School, which also happens to be the actor’s alma mater to participate in the event.

“In a household it is the responsibility of every family member to ensure that all the resources are used judiciously. If there is any appliance that is not in use, it must be switched off,” said Ram Charan.

NVS Reddy, MD, Hyderabad Metro Rail (HMR), said, “Managing and conserving the earth’s natural resources is of utmost importance. People must take to cycling and public transport with priority as it would cut down the levels of pollution in the city.”

At a point of time it was noticed that the bike station had run out of cycles. “We are extremely happy with the turnout of the number of children. We were expecting close to 600 children but there were close to 1,500 students who willingly participated for the cause,” said DV Manohar, chairman, HBC.

After the children completed their ride, they were educated about the importance of the Earth Hour. Shobana Kamineni, executive director, Apollo Hospitals; NVS Reddy, MD, Hyderabad Metro Rail and Ratna Reddy, MD, Chirec Public School, were part of the event.

In the evening, a huge crowd gathered at the Necklace Road to mark their support for the Earth Day. The grand show organised by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), got a head start with the performance of a mime act by ‘Nasr Boys Mime’ which was based on the Earth song by Micheal Jackson. It was followed by a riveting performance by DJ Prithvi. Small children thronged to the stage and danced to his tunes. An Earth Hour video was showcased to the huge crowd which carried messages from the star cast of ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’ including Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone and Jamie Foxx. The movie is this year's official ambassador for Earth Hour.

Many dignitaries were present at the event including Chandra Shekhar Reddy, CEO, SECM; GV Prasad, chairman and CEO, Dr Reddy’s Labs and Andrew Mcallister, British High Commissioner. The volunteers at the event were from four different NGOs of the city including Aimal Rehabilitation and Protection Front (ARPF), Revolution, Indian Youth Climate Network (IYCN), and Planet 3 Protection Alliance (P3PA).

The ‘Rootz’ band belted Telugu hit numbers which included songs from ‘Ye Maaya Chesave’ and ‘Surya S/O Krishnan’

There was a display by sand-artist Harikrishna who showcased how the earth was degrading through a slide show.

As soon as the lights went at 8.30pm, the ‘Alter Egoz’ band performed the Earth Hour anthem, ‘Turn the Lights Out’.

Anil Kumar from the WWF, said, “This is a symbolic gesture. 60 minutes are a symbol of power-without power. This is a worldwide movement by the people. It instills hope and determination among people to be the change they want to see.”

Lights at the Necklace Road and Buddha Bhavan were turned off for half an hour which was a rare moment to cherish.

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