Diwali is one of the most celebrated festivals in India. With the custom of bursting crackers as part of celebrations, Diwali and pollution unfortunately go hand-in-hand. The air pollution statistics in India are alarming as it is. The festival often makes things worse.
There are certain things that can be done to reduce air and noise pollutionand go green during Diwali. However, with fireworks and crackers being freely available, these recommendations have not been widely accepted. It has also hurt the religious sentiments of many Hindus in the country.
There have been several campaigns by the government, corporates, NGOs as well as individuals to spread awareness about the pollution caused by crackers. Some of these campaigns shed light on the problem in hand.
Airtel started a campaign called ‘Bring back our stars’ last year. It talked about how the children of today, living in big metropolis like Mumbai or Delhi are unable to see the stars at night. Stargazing is one of nature’s most magical phenomena, that hildren are missing out on.
Vodafone India had started a campaign to promote a green Diwali by distributing super crackers to its customers. The ‘Super Crackers’ contained eco-friendly water soluble papers that carry different varieties of seeds of plants with air-purifying characteristics.
Since 1985, the residents of Ganakkuchi village in Assam have been making ‘toobris’ or flower pots with a traditional formula that’s low on noise, non-flammable, has no chemicals, but turns Diwali into a starry night. According to Assam’s Pollution Control Board, these indigenous fire crackers are less polluting compared to those available in the market.
Big Bazaar’s ‘Pataka’ campaign of 2015 showed a DIY cracker made out of plain paper. It is basically a paper folded in a certain way, which would make a noise resembling a fire cracker when jerked. This way, there is no pollution but the children can enjoy.
Nahar group has initiated the green Diwali campaign by encouraging its residents to burst balloons instead of crackers. This might be good for the air, but it would still generate a lot of balloon waste.
The government has struggled in dealing with this population by banning the fire crackers last year, and limiting the time to use crackers for two hours this year. However, there has not been a full proof solution to this problem.
The CSR Journal wishes you have a happy, safe and pollution free Diwali followed by a prosperous New Year!
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The CSR Journal Team