As a child I really used to enjoy bursting crackers. It was really fun to do so with my family members and especially my cousins. But things have changed profoundly ever since. I now don’t like bursting crackers and in fact advice others to dissuade doing so.
|Pollution due to Anaars|
A recent trip of mine, a very short one reinforced my perception. I was kind of bored so thought of going to CMC and pay a visit to the Jain temple there. I had some time at my disposal so I thought I will easily return by dinner time. As I was in a thoughtful temperament so preferred walking till Chittoor bus stand rather than taking an auto. But the little experiences I had on my way, changed my mind and after reaching till Chittoor bus stand I took an auto back to the campus. This is how it goes…
On my way as I was going, I was excited like a child as I could see the multicoloured egressing stars from the rockets in the sky from a distance. They looked magnificent, simply amazing. As I moved forward, the area where small houses are there, people were busy bursting crackers, the common ones which we see like the anaars, zameen chakri, rockets, bombs etc.
|Pollution due to Rockets|
But it was very difficult to pass from that area for me because I could not clearly see. I thought my spectacles are not clean because of the rain. But I was completely wrong because even without the spectacles I could not see clearly, so you can imagine how much smoke was there.
But this was not my only observation. I could see smiles on the faces of the small children and on their guardians. They all were happy. They were celebrating Diwali in their own way, though I believe they are economically weak. Still, the people were happy because their children were happy. Earning money is difficult but it is even more difficult to earn smiles on the faces of people you love, isn’t it ?
Anyways, as I moved forward on the left side there was a piece of empty land so I could see the horizon on my left where the land seems to meet the sky. To my surprise the lower half of the sky which was nearer to the land was of such a colour that it was scary to see that, it was thick whitish grey. Imagine the colour of the sky when all the houses in that area were put on fire. The smoke will rise up and would cover much of the portion of the sky; that was exactly what it seemed like.
|A city Mo(u)rning after Diwali|
Imagine the people of that area, breathing in that air which had huge component of smoke, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide, manganese and even cadmium in it.
Now I have an important issue here, just to see the smiles on our children’s faces are we really ready to pay the price with their illness. (Other way round, if we are economically strong, does that mean we can waste water, electricity and other resources just because we can pay for them ? Similarly, in this case, does it mean we can pollute our environment recklessly just because we can pay for the colossal amount of crackers?)
|Diwali and Asthma|
I hope we all know about the diseases from which small children may suffer from, if this is the kind of air they breathe. Some of such diseases are asthma, emphysema, lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and many more. Are those smiles really worth this price ?
We really need to understand this. Smile is an expression of happiness, and happiness is a symbol of purity. Moreover, I presume children are indeed the most pure human beings on this earth. So, is it difficult to make them happy ? Sometimes, unlike us, they don’t even need a reason to be happy. They not only keep themselves happy but also spread happiness in our lives, they have no tensions, no worries. Do you know why ?
|Child exposed to pollution in Diwali|
Because they have immense faith in their parents, they believe that they are always there for us to protect us, to tell us what is right and what is wrong. So, are we really protecting them by bursting crackers and making our environment so very polluted that Earth is not going to be the same place for their children, our grandchildren and the generations yet to come, to live here. This is a very basic question which we don’t need to answer to anyone, but, to ourselves. If we are doing it for our children’s happiness; think twice, is this the only thing we can do for that. Moreover, it is our responsibility to teach them whether it is right to do so or not. Also, if we are doing this for our own happiness (and not for children), well in this case as well same thing is applicable (because I assume you are of same category ie children and are not yet adult).
Bursting crackers was never supposed to be the synonym to Diwali. Diwali, in fact it is about the return of Lord Rama victorious from the battle which proved that good is always supposed to win over evil; so let us make sure that our home planet Earth does not lose this battle against this evil named “Pollution”, because if this happens, we will be the biggest losers !!
I think it is high time for each of us to understand our responsibility in this battle against pollution because ultimately, this is about our very existence and we can’t afford to lose it !!
Some links that may help you :-
- Ten reasons to celebrate Diwali, find which one says it is for "bursting crackers".
- With Diwali comes Diseases, Beware...
- Diwali: Asthma in the air...from Apollo.
- Air pollution from fireworks during festival of lights (Deepawali) – a case study
- Breathe Free initiative by Cipla