On Saturday, March 28, 2015, Dubai remained glamorous even when it was devoid of lights during the “Earth Hour” from 8.30pm to 9.30pm. Earth Hour is a worldwide movement that encourages individuals, communities, households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights for one hour. Individuals and corporations from all over the UAE united to switch off lights and support the environment.
This year, the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) celebrated Earth Hour in the Business Bay Avenue Park. Many recreational booths, games, photo and information booths were set up at the venue. Adults and children enjoyed the variety of activities. Everyone was encouraged to trend hashtags on twitter and share pictures on Instagram and Facebook.
“Miracle Dynamos”, a youth group, volunteered with DEWA. Their event management team briefed us with regards to the venue’s multiple zones, its respective activities and how we can ensure the smooth execution of the entire event.
A group of 15 student volunteers from Miracle Dynamos were positioned all over the venue, with five volunteers at the souvenir tent to help distribute souvenir kits. Some volunteers distributed special glowing balloons to the children. Candles were arranged to form the phrase, “Earth Hour 2015.” This was the area, where a lot of foot-fall from participants and visitors were expected.
Volunteers from Miracle Dynamos placed the candles in their designated positions and ensured the safety of all the people who were lighting candles or capturing the moment in a photograph. Later, the volunteers were placed in the pathway where the walkathon was scheduled to take place. Due to the lack of light in the course of the walk, we were briefed with extreme precision by the DEWA representatives to guide people in the right direction. We waited for the clock to strike 8.30pm and all who were present participated in the “Earth Hour Walkathon”.
Khushboo Agarwal, a volunteer, said: “While volunteering at the Souvenir Tent, I was overwhelmed to see the venue flooded with throngs of people from 5pm onwards. Earth Hour allowed me to conserve energy myself as well as spread the message to my friends and family.”
Niranjana Sunil, another volunteer, said: “It was quite a good feeling to be involved in process of making the event possible. After visiting a few of the information booths, I realised the importance of conserving energy and reducing our ecological footprint.”
Prem Maniar, said: “I often hear how people feel elevated after they play their role in saving the environment. I had an opportunity to experience this first-hand.”
It was a truly momentous occasion for the members when Miracle Dynamos was called on the stage and awarded by DEWA for our constant engagement and participation in energy conservation activities. This recognition meant a lot to the participants who have worked diligently all through. I would like to thank DEWA for encouraging the youth to participate in their environmental protection programmes.
— The reader is a student based in Dubai.
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