G E M HAPPY GREEN DIWALI
DIWALI or DEEPAWALI , THE FESTIVAL OF LIGHT is celebrated by Indians throughout the world in a joyous mood, with zeal and enthusiasm. We all enjoy colorful display of lights, crackers, sweets, shopping, happiness. The festive spirit brings people of different communities closer, to celebrate the vibrant festival in the most blissful and lively.
On Diwali night, little clay lamps are lit in homes of Hindus. It is through the light that the beauty of this world is revealed or experienced. Most civilizations of the world recognize the importance of light as a gift of God. It has always been a symbol of whatever is positive in our world of experience.
To Hindus, darkness represents ignorance, and light is a metaphor for knowledge. Therefore, lighting a lamp symbolizes the destruction, through knowledge, of all negative forces • wickedness, violence, • lust, anger, envy, • greed, bigotry, • fear, injustice, • oppression and • suffering, etc.
Though Diwali is a festival of lights symbolising triumph of good over evil, today like many other festivals, Diwali has become a festival of noise and pollution. Something common to the festival of lights all over the country is fire crackers. The rockets illuminating the skies with multicoloured bursts, the noisy sizzle of fiery chakris (ground wheels), ear-deafening 'bombs' and dazzling phooljhadis (sparklers)… etc.
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 cities 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.
When the young and strong, rich and wealthy enjoy bursting crackers to their heart’s content, there are so many other living beings, Including humans suffer immensely. Following are few examples:
The pain and suffering infants undergo during the Diwali days is unimaginable. These little ones have no way to express their fear and pain of bearing with the ear-deafening crackers and other fireworks except the language of cries and laments. Worst still the flight of little babies.
Do we know what must be going on in the minds of the elderly, sick and the homebound during the Diwali days? While the young and the strong will be enjoying every bit of celebration like bursting of crackers, the elderly, sick and the homebound must be silently praying for God’s strength to bear with the pain and suffering. They have no other way but to pray, because, no one is in a mood to listen to their pain and agony .
Diwali, the festival of lights and sweets, is also the time when asthma patients suffer from exposure to smoke. "I see 15 to 20 Patients with spasms of asthma on Diwali day, as against four or five on other days," says Dr M Manimaran, pulmonologist and allergist. According to him, the trigger for the attack is heavy smoke from crackers like chakras, sparklers and snake tablets. "Children between the ages of six and 12 are particularly susceptible to the attack during Diwali," he added.
The act of bursting of crackers itself if fraught with dangers to humans. Hundreds of people, especially youngsters get injured in the process of bursting crackers, and even deaths. Safdarjung Hospital has one of the largest burn care facilities in India. This facility receives the largest number of firecracker-related injury patients throughout the year. However, it almost takes the form of an epidemic during Diwali. This unit runs a special disaster management protocol around Diwali.
Catching fire to the firecracker shops is very common. There are many instances of loss of life and limb due to the fire accidents. E.g. read this news “Fajjupur village in Dhariwal sub-division of this district in Punjab. About 0430 hrs, three women were killed when a powerful explosion tore through a house where firecrackers were being made illegally. The blast also injured seven people, including a child. The blast was so powerful that five other houses in the vicinity caught fire and collapsed due to its impact. About ten people were still trapped in the debris of the houses. Fire Fighters were trying to rescue them. 8.1.2011
Diwali may be all about fireworks and fun for people, but it's not the same for birds and animals. Dogs and cats cower in fear as birds spend a sleepless nights on their perches, with some even falling victim to the rockets and air-borne firecrackers.
A.P. Activists campaigning against the bursting of noisy crackers say that each year post Diwali thousands of pigeons are found dead on the roads of Charminar, Koti, Sultan Bazaar, Nampally railway station, Chilkalguda, Begumpet and several other areas, unable to bear the high-pitched explosions.
What about cows, sheep, buffalos, pigs etc? These innocent animals contribute so much for human beings. During the Diwali days, these animals suffer silently without even able to express their fear and pain. There are even instances of death of cows, buffalos etc when they run helter skelter when they hear the sound and noise of loud crackers.
Fireworks not only harm humans and animals, but even Mother Earth including trees, soil, water, air and so on. The fireworks get their flamboyance from a variety of chemicals, many of which are toxic to humans. From the gunpowder that fuels their flight to the metallic compounds that color their explosions, fireworks often contain carcinogenic or hormone-disrupting substances that can seep into soil and water, not to mention the lung-clogging smoke they release and plastic debris they scatter.
Addition to the harmful effects of bursting of fireworks on humans, animals and Mother Earth, this industry also perpetuates social evils like child labour. For example – Sivakasi in Tamil Nadu state, about 45,000-50,000 children are employed in the fireworks industry. These children earn about 15-18 rupees a day on piece-rates. When an inspector visits a factory, child workers are bundled into store-rooms and sheds. When asked if the long hours deprived her of the pleasures of childhood, 12-year-old Kavitha gave a resigned look. When asked if she would like to go to school like other girls, she shot back: "Who will feed me, then?“
Besides all the above harm done due to the bursting of firecrackers, hundreds of crores of rupees are splurged on crackers. Are we doing justice to our Motherland and Mother Earth? (see next slide a comment by a reader of a web portal)
NISHANT GAURAV, BANGALORE COMMENTS TO AN ARTICLE ON DAIJIWORLD.COM: Diwali is a festival of lights not sound. I feel pity on the people, birds and other animals who cannot bare these 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 these crackers our world will be in danger or may be it is....... my request to all cracker lovers is that to reduce the bursting of crackers as MUCH AS POSSIBLE....[contd..]
JUST REMEMBER THOSE BIRDS ,THOSE INNOCENT PEOPLE ,THOSE TREES AND 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 OUR SOCIETY... HENCE ONE SHOULD NOT ENJOY INDIVIDUAL LIBERTY AT COST OF ALL THESE... BURNING CRACKERS IS NOTHING BUT BURNING OUR OWN MONEY, BURNING OUR OWN HARD WORK WHICH DOES NOT COME EASILY....REGARDING ALL THESE POINTS ONE SHOULD LIMIT THE USE OF CRACKERS …………...... THANKYOUI WISH THE WHOLE INDIA A HAPPY AND SAFE AND OF COURSE A CRACKER FREE DIWALI....... • (Courtesy: daijiworld: October 24, 2011) • See questions for groups discussion later
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