New Delhi: With bells, plates, claps, conch shells, and in some cases even crackers, people across the country on Sunday evening expressed appreciation for medical and other staff who are on the frontline of the battle against the coronavirus.
From children to the elderly, common people to VIPs, all came out in balconies, lawns and terrace of their homes as the clock struck five, following an appeal by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to show gratitude to doctors, paramedics, police and other personnel associated with essential services when the country was observing an unprecedented 'Janta Curfew' on Sunday to check the spread of the virus.
Many took positions with their choice of instruments, including metal plates or whatever kitchen utensils they could get, while some played the sounds of conches and bells on their phones and music systems. Police sirens were also heard at India Gate and in other parts of the national capital.Families of roadside shopkeepers ring bell and clap to cheer health workers following coronavirus outbreaks, in New Delhi on March 22, 2020. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
Prime Minister Modi thanked the people for the gesture.
Taking to Twitter, he said it is an expression of gratitude by the people and also the sound of the bugle declaring the first success in the long battle ahead.
"With this resolve and patience, let's restrict (social distancing) ourselves as part of this long battle," Modi tweeted in Hindi with the hashtag 'Jantacurfew'.People clap and bang pans from balconies in show of appreciation to health care workers at a chawl in Mumbai on March 22, 2020. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)
Earlier, he had reminded people to express their gratitude towards those who have been at the forefront of combating coronavirus, and extending essential services without fearing for their safety.
In his address to the nation on Thursday, he had lauded the hard work of medical professionals, sanitation staff, airline crews, delivery persons and media personnel among others.People clap and clang utensils to show gratitude to the helpers and medical practitioners who are working relentlessly to fight coronavirus in Kolkata on March 22, 2020. (PTI Photo/Swapan Mahapatra)
Modi had asked people to express gratitude to them by giving them a five-minute standing ovation at 5 pm on Sunday by clapping hands, beating plates or ringing bells.
Top BJP leaders, including its president J P Nadda, Union ministers like Rajnath Singh and Dharmendra Pradhan, and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla participated along with their family members and staff.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath rang a bell while his Haryana counterpart Manohar Lal Khattar along with the staff and security personnel deployed at his residence were beating 'thalis'.People bang utensils outside their home to cheer health workers in Hyderabad on March 22, 2020. (AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A.)
In Chennai, AIADMK leader and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami joined his cabinet colleagues and top officials who clapped to show their appreciation for doctors, paramedics, sanitary and health department personnel.
For five minutes, lakhs of Mumbaikars stood in balconies, windows and on terraces of their houses and clapped their hands, banged plates and pans to salute those participating the war against coronavirus. For several enthusiastic Mumbaikars, the clapping started way before the 5 pm start time set by Modi. Many were seen clapping beyond the stipulated five minutes.
Many residents took to Twitter to point out that not all houses in Mumbai have balconies. One user said, "Mumbai person thought he will come out in his balcony and sing with his neighbours. There was no balcony."People clap from balconies in show of appreciation to health care workers at a chawl in Mumbai on March 22, 2020. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)
Another wrote, "A lot of folks living in Mumbai: Balcony? Which balcony?" Another post read, "Was looking forward to standing on my balcony and clapping, but I live in Mumbai..oh well #jantacurfew"
Another Twitter user added, "I dont have a balcony. Where do I go with my thaali?! #Mumbai."
As the clock struck five, people in Uttarakhand came out on their roofs beating metal plates, blowing conch shells and bursting firecrackers to express their gratitude to medical professionals, health and sanitation workers for serving humanity in the face of coronavirus threat. Men, women and children were seen on their roofs, balconies, verandas and windows beating 'thaalis' or simply clapping or bursting firecrackers to send a message of solidarity with the rest of the country fighting the pandemic.An elderly couple clap to show appreciation for healthcare workers in New Delhi on March 22, 2020. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
In Chennai, people came together and clapped hands amid the "Janta Curfew" to honour those in the public services who are combating the spread of coronavirus. People living in apartment complexes stood in their balconies while several came to road junctions across the city and elsewhere briefly to clap hands and cheer the personnel connected to combating the virus. Also, several played select tunes on their mobile phones as a mark of honour.
Telangana, too, reverberated with clapping sounds with Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan and Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao leading the state in applauding healthcare providers. Sounds of clapping, blowing of conch shells, beating utensils and chiming bells and whistles echoed through the state as people from all walks of life participated. Some of them also raised slogans hailing doctors and the police department and called for stopping the spread of coronavirus.