Residents of the national capital on Sunday night joined people across the country in expressing India's resolve to collectively fight COVID-19, lighting up 'diyas', candles and flashing torchlight from mobile phones in a symbolic gesture of solidarity following the prime minister's call.
People switched off electric bulbs and tubes and illuminated the streets, balconies and their entrance doors with lamps, candles and fireworks. They beat thalis, blew whistles as police sirens blared through neighbourhoods.
At a few places, devotional songs, mantras and national anthem were played at fever pitch.
Residents in South Delhi's Lajpat Nagar played the Hindi song "Hum Honge Kamyaab".
In the nearby Kailash Hills, a resident put up Om chats on loudspeaker.
Delhi: People light earthen lamps and candles in the balcony of their houses in the national capital. PM Modi had appealed to all to switch off all lights of their houses today at 9 PM for 9 minutes&just light candles&diyas, to mark the fight against #Coronavirus. pic.twitter.com/22xhJ9M0wE— ANI (@ANI) April 5, 2020
Some also released lanterns in the air, but in North Delhi's Ibrahimpur, street lights were switched off even though there was no such direction.
At the end of the nine minutes, many residents clapped in unison before turning the lights back on.
During the event, power consumption load dropped by 726 MW in Delhi, the BSES said.
"Coronavirus cannot defeat humanity, brotherhood, the USP of India. These candles and diyas are for our frontline workers, our doctors, paramedic staff, sanitation workers, policemen. We salute them," Shyaam Anand, a resident of Jangpura, said.
Lt Governor Anil Baijal and his family switched off the lights at their home and said Prime Ministyer Narendra Modi's call will encourage people to fight coronavirus.
He said on Twitter that it will raise the morale of everyone, including doctors and paramedical staff.
Prime Minister Modi had urged the people to switch off the lights and light up lamps and candles for nine minutes at 9 pm on April 5 to display the country's "collective resolve" to defeat coronavirus.
In a video message of over 11 minutes, Modi had also asked people to maintain the "lakshman rekha" of social distancing by staying indoors and not getting together in groups during the event.
"The world is going through tough times and it is the doctors, policemen and those associated with essential services who have been at the forefront fighting the deadly virus," said Jyoti Bhardwaj, a resident of Lajpat Nagar I.
"We as a family decided to light diyas as a thank you gesture to all those who have been doing their jobs just to keep us safe.
Jaikishan, 42, a rickshaw puller, said he made diyas of wheat flour and light it up hoping the situation will normalise soon and crores of others like him will be able to sail through the financial crisis.
Aparna Goel, a chartered accountant, said besides lighting diyas and candles, people in her locality played songs like "Ae Malik Tere Bande Hum" and "Humko Mann ki Shakti Dena".
"Crores of people are doing it at the same time. It has connected all of us in one thread. We stand shoulder-to-shoulder in these times of crisis.
We are one. India is one," she said.
Accountant Idra Shekhar Biswas, a resident of Laxmi Nagar, said there are scientific reasons that light and heat clean the atmosphere and the harmful pathogens.
"We all Indians are together in this fight against coronavirus and our prime minister is doing everything possible, so I dont think dedicating 9 minutes to this cause is a worthless thing," Biswas said.
Coronavirus has infected 503 people and killed seven in Delhi, according to the city government.
The overall death toll in the country has risen to 83 and the cases have climbed to 3,577, according to the Union Health Ministry.
India has been on a 21-day lockdown from March 25 to check the spread of the virus.
On March 22, millions of people had come out at 5 pm to show gratitude to health and other essential service providers by beating thalis, blowing conch shells and ringing bells.