Dec 15, 2007

Lights out!: Mumbai Unplug

My lights will be off today, from 1930 to 2030 hours. And yours? Here's a message from the same sort of thing that Sydney did (see the video below). And click the pic to go to the Mumbai Unplug website.

There are those among my friends who believe that doing this once has no real long term impacts, and that they are anyway extremely careful about power usage. Well, me too. I use as little electricity as possible, but I think switching off lights for an hour, without stopping to consider the magnitude of the benefits is extremely doable.

In fact, I would like to urge even non-mumbaikars to participate. It's about global warming, right?

Here's the release that the Batti Bandh guys have put up at the website
Batti Bandh bares all

Mumbai Unplug / Batti Bandh outlined the Batti Bandh 2007 POA in a press conference with the Mayor, WWF and Mumbai Unplug / Batti Bandh founders

"Mumbai city uses an average of 550 megawatts of electricity on a Saturday between 7:30pm-8:30pm. Let's see how much electricity we consume on December 15 between 7:30-8:30pm," said Dr Shubha Raul, the Mayor of Mumbai. With that innocuous statement, Mumbai Unplug / Batti Bandh kicked off the last leg of its Batti Bandh 2007 campaign.

The press conference held at Mumbai Marathi Patrakar Sangh had the Mayor, the four Mumbai Unplug / Batti Bandh founders (Keith Menon, Neil Quraishy, Shiladitya Chakraborty and Rustom Warden; seated r-l) and Moses Pereira, director, Communications, WWF, outlining the reasons for the movement and the intended plan of action for Batti Bandh 2007 that urges all Mumbaikars to switch off all electrical appliances between 7:30 pm to 8:30 pm on Saturday, December 15.

"It's a complete voluntary citizens' initiative. No streetlights will be switched off and all essential transport services will be on. We don't want to inconvenience the citizens, we just want them to be aware about the serious issue of global warming," says Keith Menon.

The movement has received a lot of support from corporates, citizens and media alike. They've already had four successful events which focused on citizen engagement towards awareness. However the December 15 event is what the group of four, along with many volunteers, has been striving for.

So far, the Marine Drive landmark, The Hilton Towers, has promised to switch off its façade lights on December 15. Essar is accommodating Batti Bandh on their Founders' Day conference which happens to be on December 15 too. As a part of their event, they will be switching off lights from 8:30pm-9:30 pm. Bank of Rajasthan will unplug all branches across India for Batti Bandh. Restaurants along Colaba causeway like Café Mondegar, Hard Rock Café and Shiro at Lower Parel have also pledged to "switch off". Perfetti India and Mentos have created an ad campaign centered around Batti Bandh. Dr Raul also expressed delight at the idea of having a community hour that Mumbai Unplug / Batti Bandh has proposed. "Earlier during power cuts, we had had children coming down their buildings and having a good time," she said. Keeping its date with the past, Mumbai Unplug / Batti Bandh has lined up several events all over the city. There will be music bands playing at Carter Road, Marine Drive and Bandstand. At Kalamboli, Panvel and Navi Mumbai Dhol players along with 50-100 rickshawwallas will hold a peace rally. Bombay Catholic Sabha is holding another peace rally from Sahar to the Airport in Andheri. Residents of Raheja Hillside building in Powai are planning an antakshri competition during the Batti Bandh hour. "You don't have to wonder about what to do in the absence of electricity. Have a community hour," says Neil Quraishy.

Modelled on the Sydeny Earth Hour 60 held in March 2007 (that had 2.2 million citizens of the city switch off lights), Mumbai Unplug / Batti Bandh is an initiative taken in order to educate the masses and make them aware of their contribution to the deteriorating environmental conditions of not only Mumbai but India and the world. "Unlike Earth Hour 60, which was initiated by organisations like Leo Burnett and WWF, Mumbai Unplug / Batti Bandh is a citizens' initiative," said Keith.

WWF has also supported the Mumbai Unplug / Batti Bandh initiative. "We encourage young citizens to come forward with such ideas and support its implementation," said Moses Pereira of WWF. For more information and updates on other performances happening across the city on December 15, v isit
Take a stand. Unplug.

For more information, contact:
Keith Menon
Phone: +91-9819769933
Rustom Warden
Phone: +91-9820806355
Neil Quraishy
Phone: +91-9820353067
Shiladitya Chakraborty
Phone: +91-9833229449
Email: info [at] mumbaiunplug [dot]com
SMS Unplug to 56363


first_synn said...

Correct me if 'm wrong, but ain't our electricity departments doing the same thing since time began? :-p

About global warming, I tend to agree with Michael Crichton on this one.

Sankoobaba said...

ohhh yesss!!! <"first_synn"> they do...ask me...since the last 5 yrs ....its been going on.....power cut ..first it was for an it is just 4 hours...coz in summer it has gone for 6 hours least they cut it in parts.......2 hours and 2 that means its routine for much that it is very very wierd if power isn't cut...for me its time to celebrate...put on some iron maiden..and headbang !!!!

subhash said...

Dec 16th edition of ‘The Week’ which has on the cover “15 minutes of fame”, cites numerous examples of ordinary Indians doing amazing and sometimes ridiculous feats just to grab attention. I tend to believe that environmentalists are no different, except that they got 60 min.

gr said...

Q. What should you leave behind when why want to get to your library

A. your accordion and these let's stop-driving-cars-for-one-day, put out-the-lights-for-one-hour < bleep >

noisy and useless for the task at hand

exactly the wrong way.

a bit like promoting clothing by wearing none

ummm i watch that channel/

thank you

jumps off piles of detergent boxes

Oh and when you reach the library remember

Good Crichton : security guard monkeys and deadly diseases and dinosaurs,

Bad Crichton : global warming

fangchu said...

people already witnessing power cuts can surely raise a finger at Batti Bandh. This problem is because of scarcity of supply.
But here (i.e batti bandh)the objective is to create awareness about global warming and it's consequences. A power cut doesn't create the needed impact on the minds of citizens regarding Global Warming but a batti bandh does.

The electricity department will forever be cutting the power supply, but that does not mean we take Global Warming for granted. Indirectly the Elec Dept is helping the combat against global warming ;) but what about you?
So Batti Bandh was an initiation to get u involved.

Also, people have found a way around power cuts... they have bought themselves an inverter!!