In an effort to draw attention towards the increasing menace of global warming,the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) India launched its lights out initiative Earth Hour global campaign at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IITB) campus during the Azeotropy festival organsied by the chemical engineering department of IITB on Saturday. At the launch,Mayor Shubha Raul inaugurated a signature drive for the campaign,scheduled to be held for one hour on March 28 at 8:30 pm,to urge people to show their support for action on climate change.
Raul said it was the cities more than the rural areas that were to be blamed for the misuse of electricity and that she would urge corporators to partcipate in the campaign wholeheartedly.
Dr Goldin Quadros of WWF said,When the organisers of the festival from IITB approached us with the idea of tying up with the campaign,we were a bit skeptical because chemical engineering and pollution go hand in hand. But then we also thought that the fest,whose theme this year is We mean Green,could be a good platform to inform young students about the need for green technologies and also to spread across awareness about the campaign to other regions of the country.
Starting the campaign at the IITB is especially relevant because of the vast electricity consumption on the campus. An IITB student and one of the organisers of Azeotropy,Dinesh Goel explained,Electricity conservation is a huge problem at IITB. The electricity bill amounts to around Rs 2 crores every year. By publicising the campaign,we want to make students on the campus aware of the issue and then also reach out to others.
WWF-India is launching Earth Hour in India from Delhi and Mumbai. What began as a one-city environmental campaign in Sydney in 2007,spread across to over 50 million people in over 300 cities in 2008. This year,the campaign hopes to reach out to 1 billion people in 1000 cities. Quadros said WWF was also planning to organise a human chain at Marine Drive among other activities to promote the campaign.