Batti Bandh Program got a lukewarm response. But the four young lads who were behind this concept were content that they were successful in creating a little awareness about the mammoth issue of Global Warming. I was also very much excited by this initiative and tried in my own way to contribute to this cause.
I underwent some really good experiences and came across various human thought patterns and learnt a great deal from it. I had written a personal mail urging my friends and colleagues to follow Batti-Bandh and make it a success after taking some information from the official Mumbai-Unplugged website. I was propagating the idea of following this program so aggressively that some of my colleagues felt as if I was going to get some reward by the organizers of Batti-Bandh! I had to fight with my team-members to convince them that this was a really good initiative for creating awareness about Global Warming. But we Indians are so biased at times that nobody can change our rigid thoughts brining about change in our perspective. I had an argument with one of my colleagues when he said there are numerous power-cuts already in their area and it would not make any difference at all even if we switch off all the lights of our homes for one hour. I tried to explain him that it was not all about just saving the power but also a gesture to think about we should care for our fellow beings and for our future generations. We should not waste energy, power, light, water etc. and should cautiously use them in order to sustain human life on earth for a long time to come. We all should be responsible citizens. We are all so engrossed in our own hectic lives that we think little about such things as energy or power conservation and their careful use. We see these matters as trivial. But they can cause havoc if we continue to ignore the signs shown by nature from time to time. So I had a tough time explaining all these points to my colleague who was arguing with me. To further aggravate me the other colleagues also joined him and started speaking negative about 'Batti-Bandh' program. How helpless we feel at times when we can't convince somebody and make him or her see our own point of view! I felt angry and disappointed and decided to keep mum but then Suraj (my best buddy in office) came to my rescue (!) and put across his point stating that this initiative was a small but courageous step in creating the awareness about a serious issue. Finally I didn't talk much to argue with my colleagues but got the opportunity to spread the word further by officially sending a mail to my entire office staff from 'Staff welfare committee' Mail Id and I was happy that I could contribute to this good cause in this manner! Even if one person read that mail and decide to switch off lights at his/her home it would mean a lot!
I put off the main switch of my home and got succeeded in making 3-4 more neighbours to follow the suit! We all came out of our homes and sat together at one common place. We had never gathered like that at 07:30 PM before. But today we all were happy to meet and discuss various subjects sitting together. One of the uncles from my neighborhood was negative about the 'Batti-Bandh' idea and was saying” what difference would it make even if we little bunch switch off lights for an hour?” I don’t like this attitude of people. They think if something wrong is going on then their doing right thing is not going to make any difference as the majority is involved in doing the wrong. But why do we forget that a sea is also made of lakhs of water droplets. I recollect a very nice story of a boy throwing star-fishes thrown out by the sea-waves in very large number, with both his hands back into the sea. His friend asked what difference it is going to make. His two tiny hands will not make any difference to the thousands of starfishes still lying on the shore. To this the little boy replied – “It made difference to those I already threw in the sea! They have got their lives back!”
Can’t we all think in this manner? By doing our little bit, we would certainly make a difference. If all of us start thinking in this manner then there would certainly be a change, betterment.
Coming back to my Batti-Bandh story, I could finally put across this point and we all had a really good time during that dark hour.
Hope such more initiatives are taken up by youth of India and we all participate and do our own bit in order to make Earth a better living place…
(The below mentioned mail was posted as Blog on 14-Dec-07)
A Friendly appeal to all of you....Please switch off your all the lights at your home on 15th Dec 2007 between 07:30 - 08:30 PM to show that you too care for environment and are a responsible citizen.
I am myself going to follow this and be part of the 'Batti Bandh' initiative. And there are thousands of other responsible and sensible mumbaiikars who would join me ....So please you too be a part of it. Does not electricity go sometime without any prior notice for an hour or two? Assume it was such a case if you are getting two thoughts about doing this....
And if you are thinking what would one do during this dark one hour...then my friends....there is lot that can be done...just a few creative thoughts...
-> you may sit with your family members and can have a candle - light talk/dinner/ antakshari session...!!!
-> you may convince your other locality friends and play some game in your area in this dark hour!
-> sleep! (its winter so fans are anyway not required!)
-> don't do anything ...!just sit idle/ meditate/ make the plans for what to do onthe new year eve!
-> talk with your other friends/relatives on your phone/mobile
-> anything which you can think of doing in the darkness!!!
Please be a part of this drive...and spread awareness about Global Warming....save energy...and Be Responsible.....!!!
Vikas G. Nayak
(Here is some more info)
First, a quick copy-paste off the Batti Band website so that you’re on the same page as I am.
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.
The lovely intent here is to combat global warming. Inspired by Earth Hour in Sydney, the idea is to conserve energy during that one hour, as a mark of commitment towards fighting global warming. And, of course, it’s not just that one hour, but there are a list of things you can do every day to reduce the risk of global warming.