Earthquakes, Tsunamis, Ash clouds, Climate changes, are nature’s way of reminding us time and again that we have got to stop abusing planet EARTH. Despite national initiatives, education campaigns, the cause isn’t getting enough support or action as desired. This led to the birth of NDTV’s GREENATHON – ‘Open Up Tomorrow, Today’ campaign in 2009 to save our planet, in association with Toyota, urging the citizens of the world to take a pledge for a cleaner and greener tomorrow.
‘Greenathon’ – a fund raising event – a nonstop 24-hour programming telecasted across all NDTV networks, began with a primary objective to raise funds for TERI’s (The Energy and Resources Institute) ‘Light a Billion Lives’ project, in order to provide light through solar power to villages across India, which would otherwise have been without electricity for over a decade. Simultaneously the programming showcased a series of other campaigns that were initiated across the country ranging from clean-up drives to tree plantations, to awareness drives on topics such as waste water treatment, air pollution control, etc
In its third edition this year, coinciding with the celebrations of World Environment Day, the ‘NDTV-Toyota Greenathon 3’ held on 4th June-5th June expanded internationally with hubs established in Tokyo, Los Angeles, Toronto, London and Sydney.
As Bollywood actors and celebrities are increasingly becoming idols for the youth, it became pertinent that they were associated with it. Hosted by NDTV’s presenter Vikram Chandra, with comedian/VJ Cyrus Broacha keeping him company, this year saw campaign ambassador Priyanka Chopra and actors Shahrukh Khan, Lara Dutta, Katrina Kaif, Shahid Kapoor, Diya Mirza, Farah Khan, Shabana Azmi making their presence felt and lending support towards the initiative. Adding a dash of entertainment to the proceeding was live performance by KK, Hard Kaur and Usha Uthup among others.
“I think more initiatives like the Greenathon where we get to share a little and learn a lot should be undertaken by many more people. I will be more than happy to be a part of any awareness initiative that will help shape a better India, a better world!” – Katrina Kaif
I think we cannot remove plastic straight away. We need to learn how to recycle it. – Shahrukh Khan
Turn of lights, car pool, use water judiciously, recycle etc. small things but they make a huge difference. I have started to look at things differently and am constantly requesting my friends team, friends and family to make the effort to make a change. – Priyanka Chopra
I think plastics are a reality of our lives. It’s important to think practically and not take things for granted. Greenathon is a great platform to make people aware. – Shahid Kapoor
Very important I think. People should also have the right access to correct guidance. An educated society is better in every way. (In response to a query on the importance of education) – Lara Dutta
Personally, I never use plastic bags; I always use cloth bags, I’ve got about 40 of them. I never ask for water in a restaurant unless I want to drink it. I make sure I don’t allow them to pour it. Also, all the bulbs of my house have changed to CFL. – Rahul Bose
I never let the tap run when I am not using it. Even while switching off appliances I make it a point to disconnect them completely. In any event, we insist on gifting a sapling instead of flowers, so that we give a life back to the earth. I think our little efforts can make a huge difference. – Shabana Azmi
In most villages across India, limited or no access to electricity means that after sunset their life comes to an almost standstill, owing to donations from varied corners of the world, in 2009 Greenathon-1 supported 56 villages, Greenathon-2 raised over Rs 2.5 crores and this year Greenathon-3 has generated over INR 11.5 crore, that will help light up over 1.45 lac lives across 590 villages.
For more updates, videos, events, pledge and donations please visit their official site http://green.ndtv.com/