Millions of Indians respond to PM's appeal; light candles, diyas, turn on mobile phone torches
Millions of Indians across the country switched off lights at their homes and lit candles, diyas, or turned on mobile phone torches on Sunday night, responding to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's appeal to show the nation's "collective resolve and solidarity" in its fight against coronavirus.
As the clock struck 9, lights went out in most houses and people gathered in balconies and at doors, flashing mobile lights while many lit candles and diyas. Fireworks, thalis, whistles, and police sirens were heard. At some places, Hindu devotional songs, mantras and the national anthem were also played.
Modi had on Friday urged people to turn off lights at their homes for nine minutes at 9 pm to display the country's collective resolve and solidarity to defeat the virus.
President Ram Nath Kovind also joined fellow citizens by lighting candles at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
This is the second time Prime Minister Modi has sought to rally people amid the ongoing lockdown to combat the pandemic, which has claimed more than 65,600 lives globally and inflicted over 12 lakh people.
You may be alone at home but 130 crore people are with you, he had said, while making the appeal to fuse a sense of unity and purpose among people during the ongoing lockdown.
The Prime Minister had earlier asked people to clap or beat utensils on March 22 for five minutes at 5 pm while observing 'Janta Curfew' from 7 am to 9 pm to thank those working in essentials services.
The overall death toll in the country due to the novel coronavirus pandemic rose to 83 and the cases climbed to 3,577 on Sunday after 505 new infections were reported in the past 24 hours, according to the Union Health Ministry.
India has been on a 21-day lockdown from March 25 to check the spread of coronavirus pandemic since the first case appeared in China in December.
(Edited by Javed Gaihlot)