A Festival Of Lights or Pollution?
This Diwali make a pledge to reduce environmental pollution, not increase it.
Do you encourage your kids to burn
firecrakers on Diwali? Do you go all out and splurge at the nearest store,
so your kids can shoot rockets in the air, light 'anars' and 'chakris'?
Here's why you should think twice.
Your children are fortunate to be
part of the privileged few that can afford firecrackers. But there are
numerous children who are employed by the firecracker industry, who sit
late into the night making crackers for your children to burn in an instant.
Firecrackers are made using harmful chemicals and acids, and these children
work from dawn to dusk, breathing such harmful fumes and coming into constant
skin contact with the acids. They burn their hands, legs and eyes, and
many get miamed for life. The conditions they work in are inhumance, and
the compensation, pitiful.
A heavy smog hangs low in the air
on Diwali night and a few days after that. While we ignore the smell -
and some even claim to like it - we can't ignore the fact that we are inhaling
poison. The levels of sulphur nitrates, magnesium, nitrogen dioxide increase,
and these chemicals are injurious to our respiratory passages. Asthamatics,
beware! Diwali can be potentially fatal!
One Diwali night causes as much damage
to the ecology as regular pollution does over the span of a year.
'Bombs' are a favourite amongst kids,
and the noisier the better. This leads to noise pollution, and a prolonged
exposure to such high levels of noise can lead to permanent damage of the
The amount of garbage released on
the day after Diwali is phenomenal. Approximately 4,000 additional metric
tonnes of garbage are released in Delhi alone, and twice the amount in
Mumbai. And this garbage, far from being eco-friendly, is extremely hazardous
for the environment as it comprises of chemicals like phosphorous, sulphur
and potassium chlorate, and tonnes of burnt paper.
Numerous fire accidents occur every
year. Rough estimates claim that nearly 10,000 people get injured by the
crackers. Most of the injuries are minor, but cause an untold amount of
pain. Most of the victims are children in the age group of 8-16.
A few schools around the country
are encouraging their students not to burn firecrackers. Perhaps it's time
you did the same.
Take your children to a clubhouse
or encourage your neighbourhood society to hold a firework display, followed
by dinner. In this manner a lot fewer fireworks get burnt, and one doesn't
feel that they haven't 'celebrated' this festival in the manner it calls