Million of people on Sunday night lit candles, lamps and flashed torches to ward off 'darkness of Coronavirus', as requested by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
This is the second time 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.
As the clock struck 9pm, lights went out in most houses and people gathered in balconies, flashing mobile lights while a few of them lit candles and diyas.
People switched off lights and came out on doors and balconies and lit earthen lamps and candles. Those who could not manage to get a lamp or candle flashed a torch or mobile torch.
Tamil Nadu: Residents of a society in Chennai Central have turned off lights of their houses, following the call by PM Modi to switch off all lights of houses today at 9 PM for 9 minutes&just light a candle, 'diya' or mobile's flashlight, to mark the fight against #Coronavirus. pic.twitter.com/c1O7oU0ewf— ANI (@ANI) April 5, 2020
Modi on April 3 asked the countrymen to light candles, lamps, flash torches for nine minutes at 9 PM on April 5 to fight the "darkness of coronavirus" that has killed 99 people and infected 3,577 nationwide.
"Friends, amidst the darkness spread by the corona pandemic, we must continuously progress towards light and hope. We must defeat the deep darkness of the crisis by spreading the glory of light in all four directions," said the Prime Minister in a video message.
"And that is why, this Sunday, on April 5, we must all together, challenge the darkness spread by the corona crisis, introducing it to the power of light. On this day, we must awaken the superpower of 130 crore Indians. We must take the super resolve of 130 crore Indians to even greater heights," Modi said.
Despite the lockdown, several vendors and makeshift shops cropped up on Sunday selling earthen lamps and candles.
A shopkeeper in Kozhikode sells lamps. PTI Photo
The earthen lamps, along with other 'puja samgari', are also sold near various temples. Those shops also opened on Sunday. Gatherings at the temples and other religious places too are barred.
Those who did not find diyas in their localities contended with candles available at the local general stores.
PM Modi's call to light diyas, torches or mobile flashlights amid the lockdown has proved to be a boon for shopkeepers selling diyas and candles.
Modi has asked citizens to not assemble anywhere while participating in this programme and emphasised on the importance of social distancing to prevent coronavirus spread.
The Prime Minister had earlier asked them to clap or beat utensils on March 22 for five minutes at 5pm while observing 'janta curfew' from 7am to 9pm to thank those working in essentials services.