Friday, December 14, 2007

Batti Bandh Initiative !!

Today I heard about this wonderful initiative called "Batti Bandh - Mumbai Unplugged". The intention is to increase awareness about Global Warming and also to combat. What it means: City like Mumbai goes for a blackout for 1 hr from 7:30 pm to 8:30 pm on 15th Dec, 2007. Quoting from the Batti Bandh site:

"Batti Bandh is an entirely voluntary event taking place on the 15th of December between 7:30 & 8:30 p.m. This event is aimed at requesting all of Mumbai to stand up for a cause that is greater than all of us. All you need to do is switch off lights and appliances in your home, shop, office, school, college or anywhere you are for 1 hour to take a stand against global warming. Just 1 hour.

What will this 1 hour do? This 1 hour for just 1 day is not our only aim. This 1 hour is to set an example to the world, to every person who witnesses it, to show that together we can make a difference. This 1 hour will save a lot of electricity as well as pollution and if done regularly can go a long way in reducing pollution that is released by electricity plants as well."

The mayor has also endorsed the initiative including so many more conscious citizens. For those of you who have been to Mumbai, imagine how the beautiful marine drive would look without light! But who cares....this event has a goal and a noble one. Think about the amount of carbon dioxide that will not be released into the atmosphere?! The website quotes it to be 24.86 tons!! It also says that this would be equivalent to taking 48,613 cars off the road!

The agenda is not only to observe the blackout. It has another motive. To encourage people to switch to a better lifestyle that would reduce that carbon using CFL bulbs, switch off your computers when not in use, avoid using cars for shorter distances, plant more trees, stop using plastic bags and the like.

But why only Mumbai? I feel each one of us should take a cue from this movement and do their bit to save our planet. There has been a lot of buzz around this for quite sometime now. We have seen innumerable articles in the paper talking about the dos and donts. But do we heed? Some of us have switched over to the healthier options. But, we have a long long way to go. And I sincerely hope, we will get there sooner than later.

The government needs to step in and do its bit. For example, ban usage of plastic bags...bring more re-cycled paper bags into usage (afaik, most of the supermarkets still use plastic bags). Increase taxes on the neon/ordinary bulbs and make CFL cheaper (ok, I did read in the paper sometime back that the Karnataka government has mandated usage of CFL bulbs in all government offices...but I wonder if it has been implemented).

Anecdote: The other day I was out near the airport runway...just watching the planes land and take-off. I noticed a car (a silver Lucida) moving very slowly with two people walking right in front of it, a man and a lady. I didnt give it much attention. After another 10 minutes, I see it again, heading in the opposite direction this time. The same two people again in front of it. I will not reveal the identity of this man, but suffice to say, that he is a very well known figure of Bangalore (you can be maybe guess by the decription of the car...not too many Lucida's in blore). So I then figured out what was going on - the man was on his evening walk and the so was the car!! The car followed him all the way instead of being parked somewhere. I was very upset at this. I still repent for not having gone and spoken to him about it. The big guys are supposed to set an example.

Anywaz, lets hope this initiative is a huge success....not only in terms of more people pledging to turn off their lights, but also pledging to change their way of life :) And for all of the non-mumbaikars, do your own bit and reduce your carbon footprint...its for your own good!

Note: Bangalore doesnt need a special event of this nature..thanks to BESCOM, we generally are left without power at soo many times in a day...its like a regular event in our lives ;) We unplug so very often!!

More pics here

No comments: