We all know Diwali & firecrackers are synonyms. Diwali hardly seem complete without the glorious sizzle and boom of firecrackers. But could those colorful, beautiful displays have harmful effect on us and the environment ?
YES, of course, fireworks are harmful to us and in fact they are an environmental disaster. Fireworks can cause extreme noise and air pollution but they also get deposited on soil, crops and water. Smoke from fireworks is harmful to health too. In fact our city gets covered by a thick blanket of smoke during Diwali season, polluting the atmosphere and increasing the health hazards. Fireworks also produce a lot of garbage.Other than that, it adds financial burden on the family considering firecrackers high prices. Also every year a number of people across the country lose their eyesight and sustain burns during Diwali festival.
Many countries do not permit an individual to light firecrackers, but our country allow us and we are one of those privileged countries in which individual can burst crackers, so why not use that privilege in a responsible way & do our bit to reduce the negative impact of firecrackers on us and on the environment.
I know its hard to say NO to fireworks but we can at least try to take few steps towards it and then gradually say No. I can tell you from my experience that its achievable. After landing in India we are also following the same rule. initially kids were very excited about bursting crackers as they never got a chance to do so in USA, so we allowed them to burst crackers but only noise free crackers last couple of years and that too in limited quantity and limited budget. This year we reduced the amount of firecrackers completely and got only one box of flowerpot and we have taken a promise from our kids that they
will not burst crackers next Diwali. If we parents continue to be consistent and set some boundaries and hold to them then we can surely achieve this goal.
I was very happy to see an encouraging message from the President of India, Mr. Pranab Mukherjee, who urged people to celebrate pollution free Diwali. Here is the link to his message. http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/pranab-mukherjee-urges-nation-to-celebrate-pollution-free-diwali- 291701
Here are the few steps you can also try:
1. If possible say NO to firecrackers completely.
2. Instead of an individual celebration prefer community celebration for limited fireworks and limited time. That way community can enjoy the delightful visual treat of fireworks together. This will ensure reduced cost,pollution and garbage.
3. If you can’t say NO to firecrackers initially, then at least reduce the quantity of crackers you buy and start with the noise free crackers only. Then gradually educate your kids on the negative impact of firecrackers on the environment and then teach them to say NO to firecrackers completely.
Celebrate Diwali but with a different meaning. Celebrate it in a natural way, by lighting lamps, making sweets and spreading happiness around. Even you can share your happiness with less privileged children, elderly people etc…