Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s nine-minute “lights off” call to show solidarity in the fight against coronavirus received an overwhelming response at 9 pm on April 5.
Apart from Germany, Australia and Japan, countries like Afghanistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Maldives, Vietnam, Israel, Tunisia and Mexico joined in the 9 pm 9 minute campaign.
Cities across the country participated in the initiative and people were seen holding diyas at their balconies in Delhi, Pune, Chennai, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Varansi among others.
Citizens in Bandra (West), Mumbai were seen holding candles and flashing mobile torches in a collective effort to show solidarity with the PM.
RIL CMD Mukesh Ambani along with wife Nita Ambani joined in the lights off campaign too.
— CNBC-TV18 (@CNBCTV18News) April 5, 2020
Residents in Bandra were seen maintaining social distance, while they were in societies and could be seen on balconies of high rises across the city.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman tweeted:
— Nirmala Sitharaman (@nsitharaman) April 5, 2020
Patricia Pereira from Lower Parel in Mumbai, participated in the campaign by turning out all the lights at her residence. She was excited to see people on the streets waving flashlights and shouting, “Go corona go” and Bharat Mata Ki Jai”.
Modi had called on citizens to switch off all lights and light up candles, lamps or mobile phone torches for nine minutes at 9 pm on April 5 to display the country’s “collective effort” in fighting the coronavirus pandemic.
There were concerns that the blackout could impact electricity grids due to a sudden drop and subsequent surge in power consumption, following the lights off initiative. However, the government had set out a plan and issued an FAQ for the masses.
The Power Ministry said in a statement, “Minister RK Singh, alongwith Power Secretary and other senior officers monitoring the power grid operations from National Power Monitoring Centre in Shram Shakti Bhawan.
There was huge response to the Prime Minister’s call as power demand went down from 117 GW to 85.3 GW within a span of 4-5 minutes. This was handled very well by engineers across all levels, The minister said.
The government had categorically said that no hospitals and other essential services had to turn off lights. Electricity supply would continue and street lights and common areas would be lit up as usual.
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