An Environmentally Safe Diwali – Is It Possible ?

By | 20:26 6 comments

Today, being Diwali, I couldn’t help but think back to one of my first few posts that I wrote on this blog titled ‘Festival of Lights … or Endangering The Environment’ … I had just moved to Bombay and was experiencing my ‘first real Diwali’ and I was just left in a state of shock !

Don’t get me wrong here … Diwali holds a significant meaning to the Indian community and is a form of a celebration of the new year.   Diwali is the ‘festival of lights’ and is often associated (and celebrated) with fireworks and bright lights.  However – I still can’t get my head around WHY we (the educated population) need to celebrate a festival with something like fire crackers that have such a detrimental impact on the human body AND the environment ?

Has it ever crossed your mind just how destructive this joyous festival can be ? Has it ever occurred to you that you could be aggravating and/or creating a health issue for yourself ? Have you ever stopped to consider just HOW SCARED animals must be with the loud bursts of the crackers ? 

With the increased levels of global warming, have you given any thought to just how much pollution we are adding to the natural environment ?  In my original post, I wrote about how the skies were filled with drifting smoke behind the light of the fireworks … we are BREATHING those very fumes and slowly damaging our lungs. happy-diwali-greetings

According to Dr Rajesh Chawla of Apollo Hospital in Delhi, the particles left over from fireworks can cause eye, throat and nose problems which may not be felt immediately but can develop into serious health hazards in the long-term.  

I was happy to read that the ministers of various states in India have been trying to promote a ‘green Diwali’.  Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal appealed to children to say no to crackers and celebrate Diwali with lights.  Dhumal said indiscriminate use of crackers alarmingly increases the level of toxic chemicals in the air and noise, which is not only detrimental to the environment but also affects the eyes, throat and respiratory system. 

The human ear takes in sound at about 60 decibels – and the majority of fire crackers can create more than 80 decibel noise – which can cause temporary hearing loss, restlessness, anger, and over-reaction to situations.  We are in essence  creating physiological damage for ourselves.  Did you know that on Diwali day the noise levels from the use of fire crackers etc can reach a deafening 140 decibels !! 

Imagine the state of animals (pets & dog scared of fireworksstrays alike) that have the ability to detect sounds that are too faint for the human ear cannot hear … they start to tremble; try to run away and hide .. at least our pets are safe .. but the strays .. my heart goes out to them ! I have seen some children (beggars & from good families) tie fire crackers to the ends of dogs / horses tails causing them to run in fear and hurt themselves ! It’s INHUMAN to this and is an act that is punishable by law. 

I could go on and on … but the point I guess I'm trying to make is that - the fireworks look great for a few minutes but have we ever really given a thought to the consequences that our bodies and the natural environment encounters after those few minutes ? 

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Anonymous said...

In the name of environment, everything that seems to give joy to man needs to be sacrificed. can there be no middle path, where the joys we felt as children burning firecrackers can still be enjoyed without setting oneself on a major guilt trip? Today it seems as if all human endeavor related to water, air, earth and other wild life is detrimental, destructive, wrong, inappropriate, improper.... in other words our very existence seems to endanger this planet..

Dazediva said...

@ Anon ... thanks for dropping by & sharing your comment ... It appears that there isn't much ground left for a middle path ....

Things were different two decades ago in the case of those who are in their late 20's and even more different when our parents were kids .. Fire crackers used to be simpler; the new age crackers are made in a manner that makes them louder, creates more smoke, has more toxins in it and is actually made by child labourers !

The population of the world is increasing; technologies are changing; land is an asset and acquisition and with the growing demands of the population - companies require land for development .. this in turn means cutting into forests and natural landscapes and thus depleting the reserves and causing animals to lose their natural habitats ...

So it is a vicious catch-22 situation we are in ... if everyone did their part - we could probably preserve the environment a lot longer - at least enough for my grand kids to see and experience !

e.g a lot of countries and people participated in earth hour ... we should do that every week (if not every day) ... in India - if we could all stop using the car horns - we would immediately cut down on noise pollution ... its the simple things that are difficult for most to do ...

MissOwly said...

to be honest.... I actually love bursting crackers....... the very loud noisy ones........ but when u sit down and actually think about it..... what uve written makes sense.
but cummon, it's just one day...
besides, what's Diwali without fire-crackers??

Praba said...

Well proud to say my Diwali was firecrackers free :))

Dazediva said...

@ peace_luver .. if only it were one day of crackers darling .. but it's not .. its actually 5 days (if not more depending on how cracker happy people get) ... when you go back to the root of it all, Diwali was celebrated by rows of diyas / lamps .. not fire works (don't jump at me if I am wrong at this - my Indian history sucks) .... if you're gonna have fireworks, the least we can do is use fire works that have less toxins in them (there's a particular name for this will figure it out and tell you)

@ Praba .. hats off to you on your cracker free Diwali :) spread the word around you heheh

Anonymous said...

Basically too much of anything can be bad for you. I wanted to go out for a walk in the evening yesterday, but cudnt stay out for more than 10 min coz the air was so smoky... and this is Worli Seaface I'm talking about.. you wud expect the fumes from the crackers to dissipate a lot faster in an open area! but no, it just hovers around, like a foggy haze.. and thats what we're forced to breathe!

If not for the world, lets be completely selfish... lets get more socially responsible for ourselves, our children and our families as a whole. Do it for them.. but do it!!