Prime Minister Narendra Modi lit a lamp after turning off all lights at his residence on Sunday night, joining the country in the drive to mark the fights against coronavirus.
India switched off all the lights for 9 minutes at 9 PM today and lit candles, ‘diyas’, or flashlight, to mark the country’s fight against Coronavirus as appealed by the Prime Minister.
PM tweeted a Sanskrit shloka, along side photos of himself, which means: “Salutations to the Light of the Lamp which Brings auspiciousness, health and prosperity, which Destroys Inimical Feelings; Salutations to the Light of the Lamp.”
Several of the Prime Minister’s colleagues from the Union Cabinet participated in the drive.
“Two diyas – one for me and the other for my 88 year old mother who could not be at the door. Joining an expression of mass solidarity. India stands united as never before. Jai Hind #9pm9minute,” External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar tweeted along with a picture where he is seen holding two diyas.
Entire cities turned off lights in an unprecedented display of national solidarity to defeat the deadly viral disease that has spread to 208 countries causing over 11 lakh cases and 62,000 deaths worldwide.
Communities were seen standing in balconies, residential complexes, maintaining the mandatory social distance during the ongoing lockdown, as urged by the PM.
People sang melodies of hope such as “We shall overcome”, with some heard chanting “Go Corona Go.”
PM’s mother Heeraben also participated in the national show of togetherness as did ministers Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Prakash Javadekar and Nitin Gadkari.
Health Minister Harsh Vardhan was at AIIMS in New Delhi where he lit a lamp with doctors who are leading the fight against a little-known viral strain.
There were no reports of power grid failure, an apprehension many, including Congress leaders, had expressed since the PM’s April 3 appeal to the nation to summon collective energies against the disease and show that everyone is in it together.
At several place across cities, sounds of firecrackers rented the air, breaking the overwhelming sombre mood of the nation that stood together in gratitude to Covid warriors and exuded unity of purpose against an invisible enemy.