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Tuesday, October 25, 2011 12:43:07 PM (IST)  

Diwali: Of Lights, Crackers, and Pollution...

Diwali: Of Lights, Crackers, and Pollution...

By Florine Roche

Mangalore, Oct 25: Deepavali the festival of lights is India’s national festival, a festival that reflects our ethos, our culture, our tradition and our way of life. Though, essentially a Hindu festival, over the years it has acquired the status of a festival that transcends all barriers of caste, race, language and religion, true to our unity in diversity. Deepavali symbolizes the triumph of good over the iniquitous and the diyas lit on the moonlight signify dispelling darkness or ignorance with light that can fill us with enlightenment and knowledge. Hence the name deep (light) avail (rows) Deepavali. As part of the festival the entire country is lit with beautiful lights and there are also fireworks. Fireworks are supposed to scare away evil spirits.

For most people especially for children lighting firecrackers is the highlight of Deepavali. The brighter the sparkles, the greater the grandeur and louder the noise the greater is the thrill. However, in our country it must be admitted that fireworks or crackers are no longer unique to Deepavali. Be it festivals, marriages, celebrations, anniversaries, electoral wins, political rallies, processions, or sports victories (cricket), crackers have become an all-round phenomena and the sound of crackers resonate throughout the ear. From the much enjoyed merriment witnessed during Deepavali the transition to today’s year-long use of crackers is an evil that spells nothing but doom and is parlous. It is time people go for noiseless celebration of Deepavali, to start with, to give a reprieve to the people from the deafening noise pollution caused by crackers.

Today the real meaning of bursting crackers seems to have been lost to a great extent as grand fireworks have become a status symbol for the vulgar display of ill-gotten wealth for the rich and others are either cowed down by their sheer money and muscle power and blindly follow them. For them it has become fashionable to use fireworks in a manner that causes maximum distress and annoyance to people with scant disregard to the impact it has on environment. With pollution levels in most of our citizens already in the danger zone little do people realize that fireworks make way for toxic substances that enfold the atmosphere which are deleterious to the health of all living beings. In Mangalore, the city inhabited by intelligent and enlightened and citizens there is an increasing tendency over the years to create more noise and greater sparkle in a manner that will stand out by its grandeur by the rich and the powerful.

If we go by the extent of air, water and noise pollution that results from the wanton usage of fireworks, we really need to give a thought to enjoy Deepavali by restricting the usage of fireworks to a great extent. Fireworks results in the release of toxic substances like copper, cadmium, lead, magnesium, sodium, zinc , nitrate and nitrite and can lead to respiratory problems, anemia, damage to kidney, vomiting, coma, cancer, hearing loss and can aggravate many other existing diseases. The toxic substances also cause immense suffering to the flora and the fauna. Everyone seems to conveniently forget the verdict passed by the Supreme Court in 2005 which considers bursting of crackers between 10.00 pm and 6.00 am as an offence.

Creating awareness about the perils of this reckless usage of fireworks seems to be the only way to reduce the pollution. More often than not the general tendency is to blame the children saying they are oblivious of the impact of fireworks on the environment. Environment Officer Laxman of Pollution Control Board, Baikampady says that their department has taken the initiative to create awareness among students by distributing posters and pamphlets highlighting the dangers of fireworks. He says parents often complain that they are unable to convince their children. “We are not saying not to use fireworks. Through these posters we are trying to create awareness by highlighting the impact of the mindless use of crackers. If children can be convinced it is like winning half the battle”, Laxman pointed out.

The Pollution Control Board of Mangalore has made arrangements to monitor noise levels at two places in the city so as to check whether the pollution levels increase the prescribed limits during this time around the festival. According to Laxman for the last three years there has been no increase in the pollution levels in Mangalore, which is no doubt a matter of gratification. But it is not a cause for celebration because there has been no decrease either which should have, considering the efforts to create awareness in the past few years. Hence there is an urgency to bring down the pollution levels from the present level so that we can heave a sigh of relief and continue the efforts towards further reducing it. Laxman stated that his department is working in tandem with the police department to ensure the safety of the fireworks during this deepavali by testing some samples of crackers sold in the market.

However, there is a greater need to educate the elders and the enlightened citizens to restrict the usage of fireworks. There has been an increase in Carbon Monoxide in the atmosphere from vehicle pollution, which we know is not easy to curtail. But we can certainly prevent further harm to the milieu we live in through some simple measures such as reducing the usage of fireworks and by going for lower decibels level crackers. Exercising some restrain can also prevent the accidents that usually occur due to firecrackers. Will our enlightened citizens pay some attention to this to ponder and act before it is too late?

Comments on this article
charanjeet kaur, Patiala
Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Diwali is a festival of lights but we've made it a source of Pollution by using too much crackers.Noise, Air pollution is causing harm to not only human beings but for animals and birds also.so this diwali say NO to Crackers and enjoy safe and clean diwali with friends & family.

C K DAYANANDA, MANGALURU
Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Well said Ms.Florine Roche.

As I have written earlier, all our festivals are environment friendly and most of them are in worship of environment in the form five great elements.

No where in our puranas or shastra bursting of intoxicant crackers is sanctioned.

Following are the major ill affects of crackers:

1. Pollution
2. Serious injury, especially to children.
3. Disturbance to neighbours, sick and old people.
4. Frightens domestic and other animals
5. National waste

Aathma resides not only in human beings, but in animals, birds etc. as also in plants and environment.

We shall not burst crackers.

We shall celebrate Deepavali by lighting the lamps and worshipping the dieties and environment.

May the Deepavali lead us from unreal to real from darkness to light from death to immortality.

Oliver machado, Udupi / Sharjah
Tuesday, October 25, 2011

May the power of lights this Diwali bring out the best among the entire spectrum of our society

Wilson Pinto, Neerude / Muscat
Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Dear brothers & sisters,
Wish you all a very Happy Diwali a feast of light, a victory over the darkness. May this feast bring you happiness and the coming year be filled with peace & prosperity.
very nice aricle. Thanks to Florine.

M.SHAMEEM ANSARI, BAHRAIN
Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Dear all wish u and your fmaliy a very happy diwali. May god fulfill all your wishes in wealth, health & happiness in your life.

Bulsam, Mangalore
Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Light a lamp of love!
Blast a chain of sorrow!
Shoot a rocket of prosperity!
Fire a flowerpot of happiness!
Wish u and your family SPARKLING DIWALI!
During Diwali one performs Lakshmi Pooja and at the same time crackers like the Lakshmi-bomb are burst. Bursting of this kind of crackers which break our ear-drums, cause more distress to heart-patients, scare children and cause severe not only noise but also air pollution, are not restricted to only Diwali celebrations but have become inseparable part of every celebration like a marriage procession, winning of cricket match and religious or political rallies.
Today’s children enjoy frightening a beggar by bursting ‘atom bomb’ near him to scare him rather than giving him some food. This is a mental perversion created by crackers. In a developed country like USA, there is a ban on crackers that make noise. Only sparkling noiseless crackers are allowed to be burst but for that also, permission is required to be taken. If crackers are to be burst on a special occasion, special permission is required. Permission is granted only after ensuring that crackers would be burst at a place away from residential area and would not pose any kind of danger to anyone. It is also seen whether fire-brigade’s service is available at such place. Do we take such safety measures? Only major citizens are allowed to purchase crackers in countries like New Zealand, Europe etc.
It is necessary that in India too, such law is passed.

Francis Mathias, Mudarangadi/Bahrain
Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Excellent write-up. Always I cherish reading articles from Ms. Florine Roche. I admire her writing skill. Thanks Daiji for publishing such articles. Let this Deepavali bring happiness and peace to everyone and festival of lights brighten life of every Indian. Happy Deepavali.

ISMAIL.K.PERINJE, PERINJE-YANBU/KSA
Tuesday, October 25, 2011

HAPPY DEEPAVALI TO ALL MY FELLOW CITIZENS.May the festival of lights bring you all good health and wealth.

S.M. Nawaz Kukkikatte, udupi
Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Dear All, Wish you very happy Diwali. May this festival brings lot of happiness, peace and brotherhood relations with all religion.

vinu, Mangalore
Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Wishing all the daijiworld readers a very safe and happy diwali.

Irine, Bombay
Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Thank you Florine for such a wonderful article with so much information. It is surprising people ignoring the fact of noise & air polution due to the fireworks which must be taken seriously and educate/teach ourselves and our children about the harm it will cause to the health. If everyone takes this matter seriously, then our country will be free from many health issues. People, be humble, obey the rules and thank God for the beautiful Universe He has created for us and it is our duty to take care of it. God bless you and give you heavenly wisdom.

Venessa, Mangalore/DXB
Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Wish you all happy Diwali!!!

nishanth.s.gurav, bangalore
Tuesday, October 25, 2011

diwali is a festival of lights not sound.I feel pity on the people ,birds and other animals who cannot bare theese loud sounds.People enjoy bursting crackers but in their enjoyment they totally forget the world! .The people who like to burst crackers should burst them at an extent but not more than that.. It spoils the life of birds and animals but also our beloved trees.They do not speak anything but inside deep they die.. .first of all there is lot of pollution due to the vehicles that give out poisonous gases and top of that if we still try to extend the level of pollution by bursting theese crackers our world will be in danger or may be it is....... my request to all cracker kovers is that to reduce the bursting of crackers as MUCH AS POSSIBLE....
JUST REMEMBER THOSE BIRDS ,THOSE INNOCENT PEOPLE ,THOSE TREES ANT THOSE ANIMALS WHO CANT BARE THE SOUND AND POLLUTION OF THE CRACKERS THEY BURN.....
INSTEAD OF SPENDING THOUSANDS OR MAY BE LAKHS!... IN BUYING CRACKERS ONE CAN FEED THE NEEDY...OR CAN USE FOR THEMESELVES FOR OTHER PURPOSES...
THE TREES ,PLANTS..,BIRDS ..ETC ARE ALSO THE PART OF ARE SOCIETY... HENCE ONE SHOULD NOT ENJOY INDIVIDUAL LIBERTY AT COST OF ALL THEESE...
BURNING CRACKERS IS NOTHING BUT BURNING OUR OWN MONEY, BURNING OUR OWN HARD WORK WHICH DOES NOT COME EASILY....
REGARDING ALL THEESE POINTS ONE SHOULD LIMIT THE USE OF CRACKERS ......
THANKYOU
I WISH THE WHOLE INDIA A HAPPY AND SAFE AND OFCOURSE A CRACKER FREE DIWALI.......

Ashok, MANGALORE
Tuesday, October 25, 2011

And Govt of Karnataka ordered That Night 10 Morning 6 Cracker bursting Banned Now we have to see how many our friends are follow these rule...

Lets Enjoy festival of Lights Without the Cracker

Jossey Saldanha, Mangalore/Mapusa/ Mumbai
Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Dear Daijiees, Politics apart we are Indians first.
Happy Diwali, Let us celebrate this festival with lights and not crackers and bombs.
We either have little kids or old people in our homes. Let us not choke them with our smoke and sound.
Have a great feast!!!!!!!!!!!!!


viju, mangalore
Tuesday, October 25, 2011

wishing daijiworld a very happy diwali

ahmed, Mangalore/Riyadh
Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Wish you all a very happy Diwali for my brothers and Sisters, May this festival brings you with peace, properous and healthy life..

Ashok, Udupi/Dubai
Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Wish you all my Daiji Friends/Readers very happy, safe & Shubh Deepavali.

 
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