Firecrackers can cause hearing loss, high blood pressure, sleeping disturbances and sudden exposure to loud noise can cause temporary or permanent deafness or even result in heart attack. Nausea and mental impairment are also some of the side effects of firecrackers.
Karuna Mehta an environmental activist says, “Firecrackers should be banned as they cause a number of health hazards. People come down with all sorts of respiratory problems such as asthma and bronchitis. Air and noise pollution are also the side effects of firecrackers that are responsible for various injuries. The smog that is created on Diwali is responsible for a number of accidents due to reduced visibility.”
According to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), a non-profit organization, awareness should be created for the masses. People need to understand that bursting firecrackers is not trendy anymore. It is important for the government to organize anti-firecracker campaigns and discourage people from bursting firecrackers. Parents as well as children should be educated on the harmful effects of firecrackers and environmental laws should be implemented strictly.
Observing that the ‘Right to Sleep’ is a fundamental right, the government of India has banned firecrackers between 10 pm and 6 am, on Diwali. The effect of this ban has been very positive and the sale of firecrackers has considerably gone down.
Anita Pal, a schoolteacher says, “It is important for children to understand that bursting crackers is harmful. We educate children before Diwali and discourage them from bursting firecrackers. We also ask them to educate their parents and relatives on the harmful effects of firecrackers as well as the dangers accompanying them.”
Diwali is the biggest festival of India and its sanctity should not be blown away in smoke. This festival of goodwill can be celebrated in a number of ways other than bursting firecrackers.
Kanchan Chadha, a housewife says, “My family will be celebrating Diwali by having a get together. We will cook a special Diwali cuisine and distribute gifts. I want my children to learn to appreciate the beauty of the festival and not waste their time and money in bursting firecrackers. We will of course light diyas and candles on Diwali.
Arjun Khurana, businessman says, “I have told my kids to refrain from bursting firecrackers this Diwali. We will be going out to watch Saanwariya this Diwali as a treat. I am unable to spend quality time with my family and see Diwali as an opportunity to make up for the whole year.
The Central Pollution Board of India has banned firecrackers with a decibel level of more than 125 at a distance of 4 meters from the bursting point. There has also been a considerable effort to do away with the infamous 1000 chain bombs.
Kamakshi Joshi, banker says, “We will go to the Noida Stadium and watch the display of firecrackers instead of lighting them at home. Firecrackers have injured many on Diwali in the past and it is important for us to understand that prevention is better than cure.
Amrita Puri, executive says, “I can still recall the day when one of my neighbours had a heart failure on Diwali. It was on account of someone having burst a gola bomb in front of him. It was a sad incident and such mishaps can happen with anyone if we are not careful.
Let each one of us take a pledge this Diwali to say NO to firecrackers and invest in a safer and greener future. Diwali is the festival of lights and we must enlighten our lives with the sparkle of joy and goodwill, forget past grievances and look ahead towards a brighter and happier future.