We all know Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday urged people to switch off lights at their homes and in the darkness light lamps, candles or turn on mobile phone torches for nine minutes at 9 pm on April 5. The prime minister told the nation that many people must have felt alone being at home during the ongoing lockdown but they must realise that the collective strength of 130 crore Indians is with each one of them.
Some people said this was a symbolic gesture that had several meanings such as bringing people together or thanking those working to provide essential services to people in these times of crisis and also a symbol of unity.
I always thought candles are lighted for birthdays, tributes, and candle light dinners, but first time I got to know that these are also used for many more things, like to show symbol of unity, etc.
During this pandemic situation what is more important? Switching off lights or arranging ventilators and hospital facilities? It is a time of severe distress for millions of poor, homeless and starving, and for medical professionals fighting Covid-19 without proper protective equipment. Hospitals are lacking in health care facilities and a country having 134 crore population just brought candles, which approximately cost five rupees each, which means our country spent 670 crore rupees on a symbol of unity.
From my point of view, it was sheer wastage of money. We could have used these 670 crore rupees for those millions of homeless and starving people, or for the safety of our health workers and doctors.
The writer is a student of BSc Nursing at IUST