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 www.mumbaiunplug.com.
Take a stand. Unplug.
For more information, contact:
Email: info [at] mumbaiunplug [dot]com
SMS Unplug to 56363