Greenpeace RE Fair at Sukhdev ViharPhoto © Apoorv Tiwary

At Greenpeace, we believe that there's nothing more important than a well-informed public. We also believe that everyone is morally responsible for creating an environment that is sustainable, green and oriented for growth.

Keeping these in mind, Greenpeace decided to launch a campaign aptly titled 'Switch on the Sun'; aimed at convincing the society to shift from thermal energy to solar energy, while informing them of its various multi-faceted benefits.

In a first of its kind event, Greenpeace Decided to hold renewable energy (RE) fairs across Delhi to promote ideas about solar energy. The first one took place last week in Mayur Vihar and on May 12th it was the residents of Sukhdev Vihar who were in for an evening of fun and knowledge.

The RE fair at Sukhdev Vihar saw a staggering turnout of more than 100 people. The air was thick with love and energy, of course, as the evening kicked off with a musical performance by the "Manzil Mystics". Youngsters and elders, alike, hummed to tunes familiar and new, while exploring different facets of the fair.

The Manzil Mystics in actionPhoto © Apoorv Tiwary

The vibrant performance was followed by a t-shirt and poster painting competition for youngsters that was rightly themed 'The Sun'. The kids had a ball painting t-shirts and posters, while looking around for ideas to spark their imagination. The event saw huge participation, as kids happily put on their t-shirts, being the young representatives of the Sun in their own right. This was followed up by a quick quiz competition, which saw participation from the young and the old. The informal nature of the quiz and the spirit of enquiry led many to learn in great detail about solar energy.

To further demonstrate the viability of solar energy as a resource, cakes were baked in solar cookers that were loved by all. Ice cream candies kept in a freezer powered by solar energy were also distributed keeping the young and the old engaged.

While all these activities were fun and engaging, the backdrop of the fair was a photo exhibition, which explained in detail the need to shift to a renewable source of energy like solar. A photo montage took us on a journey through the happy and green yesteryears, while progressively showing us the fault in our own present ways. In summation, it offered solar energy as a solution to the problems of depleting biodiversity, deforestation and the lack of coal as an energy resource. The energy audit stall also saw some serious discussions with interested parties learning about the practical aspects of solar energy, along with discussing its relevance in present times.

The event came to a close with an electric street play performance that raised important issues and offered a true critique of the state of affairs in our society. And lastly, it seems that we seemed to have pleased the gods above as they blessed us all with a double rainbow, adding nature's bounty to the event.

The street playPhoto © Apoorv Tiwary

Packed with fun and knowledge, the event successfully helped the residents of Sukhdev Vihar pledge their rooftops to the cause of a greener and sustainable city. It was an eye opener to see that the problem of electricity is one affecting all and if the government will not do much about it, it is very much upon the society to take progressive action for their future.

Shweta Sood is a volunteer with Greenpeace.

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