Earth Hour: Seriously Taken?


We talk of the Earth Hour but how seriously do we all take it?

We all know how important and meaningful Earth Hour is in some countries. A worldwide event organized by World Wide Fund for Nature, this year was to be conducted from 8.30 to 9.30 p.m yesterday. With the depletion and disastrous impact on nature and resources, such events help bring together people and promote awareness.

But how seriously do we take it?

Delhi participated in this noble event by switching off lights at places like India Gate, Qutab Minar, Humayun’s Tomb, Red Fort, Central Park (CP), and other significant places. People gathered at these places to celebrate the hour, not only to promote saving power but to promote renewable sources of energy. Celebrities promoted the cause and people worldwide joined in.

But personally, I did not see a real commitment to the cause.

I myself was roaming around in one of the most popular mall-chain area in Gurgaon at the time of the Earth Hour. The metros were running, the malls were lit up, and there was not a single mention of the Earth Hour. House lights were on, shop lights were on, and everything that should have been shut down to promote the cause was on.

Looking at it personally, I myself would find the hour quite inconvenient. No person would want to admit it, but let’s face it, we all use this excuse “we had more important things to do”. My life is so dependent on electricity and such forms of resources that make it “impossible” to take part.

Why would I stop my work when my neighbors are still using electricity?

Why would anyone pardon interruption in any form of work flow on the basis of much-hyped trend?

How will my contribution make any difference?

Sadly, these are the thoughts of many. Anyone can very easily call themselves environmentalists and nature lovers but ask them to sacrifice an hour and it becomes panic city. We have convinced ourselves that we are so empty without these things that an hour is too much.

Another big problem, many didn’t even know about it. If you go out and ask about everyone’s contribution in the worldwide event, many would give you blank expressions.

“That was today?”

“Oh man, if I had known about it, I would have done something!”

It’s just like the story I read when I was younger, where Birbal had a gathering arranged, where all the villagers were asked to pour a pail of milk in a pot at the entrance. The whole village showed up at the party and celebrated, but at the end of the day the pot was full of water. Everyone thought that the others would bring the milk so their pail of water won’t make a difference.

Same is the case with people. We believe that so many people are putting their efforts in; our absence will not be noticed. This attitude is a common thing with many, which results in no productivity at all.

When most of us are ignorant and rely on others, how will anything good happen in our society or lives?

We need to start taking individual responsibility for our surroundings. Even a single person’s action makes a difference. If we don’t have someone to be inspired from we can always be the inspiration.

Why do we need the sheep-following technique to execute our actions?

Why do we need the bribe of a celebrity interaction or big labels attached to catch our attention for such a good cause?

When the rest of the world can take it seriously, why can’t we?

Cities like Delhi might have conducted these events with good intentions, but small scale events and awareness are just as important as the large, popularized ones.

Ambika Chauhan

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