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In tune with PM Modi’s ‘9pm9minute’ campaign, Indian-American community light diyas in New Jersey to fight COVID-19

NEW JERSEY, USA-Standing in solidarity with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘9pm9minute’ campaign, the Indian-American community here lit diyas and lamps at 9 pm on Sunday (local time) to ensure a collective resolve to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Last week, the Prime Minister had urged people to switch off lights at their homes and light up lamps, candles or mobile phone torches for nine minutes at 9 pm on April 5 to display the country’s “collective resolve” to defeat the contagion.

The campaign received a modest response from people in the country as well as the community settled abroad.

As the clock struck 9 pm, several Indian-American homes in New Jersey, San Francisco, Washington, Houston, and Chicago blacked out, as the people turned off their lights and stepped out of their residences.

Some people were seen lighting candles and lamps, while others waved their phones with the flashlights turned on. Religious chants were played at homes and while some prayed in solitude. A few homes even placed the flags of both India and the US together and lit lamps around them.

“The heart of the US is New York City and the worst of the pandemic is there. Now, India and the US stand together and the two countries will win for their people and the world. They will overcome the pandemic and find a solution for humanity,” Rajyalaxmi Saha, a resident of New York, told ANI.

“My family and I are lighting a lamp for all those heroes out there who are risking their health to get us through this crisis. The lighting of lamps here in the US in our home is a show of solidarity of support to all those selfless men and women across the world who are saving lives,” said Vivek Sharma, a software professional and a person of Indian origin from the Bay Area.

India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on late Sunday registered 3,577 coronavirus cases, with 83 deaths.

The deadly virus, which has spread across continents and territories across the globe, has infected at least 1.2 million and killed close to 70,000 others.