Diwali or Dipawali is one of the most popular festivals celebrated in India. It’s known as the festival of lights. Quite literally we do celebrate it by lighting up firecrackers. You might have heard about the Supreme Court ban on firecrackers in Delhi to curb the growing air pollution. Why just Delhi? Why do we have to wait until situations get grave and only then find ways to solve the problem?
Diwali spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, hope over despair and most importantly knowledge over ignorance. As responsible human beings we must not be ignorant about our actions which have detrimental effects to our surroundings and the poor animals.
This article focuses not only on the way we celebrate diwali but all other festivals or events that require the unnecessary use of firecrackers to celebrate happiness. Here is a list of problems that arise due to firecrackers.
Everyone has seen the amount of smoke generated after lighting up fireworks. The fireworks may last a few minutes but the air pollution lingers for hours. The levels of suspended particulate matters (SPM), CO, NOx, hydrocarbons, SO2, increase to an unprecedented levels in air during fireworks display. And we breathe this air. It definitely leads to harmful effects on our health.
Do I even have to speak about this? I don’t understand why festivals are celebrated at the price of someone’s peace and quiet. Haven’t we had enough with the traffic and construction noise already?
Noise pollution shouldn’t be taken lightly. It affects our health and behaviour. Unwanted sound can damage psychological health. It can lead to sleep disturbances, hypertension, anxiety, hearing loss and high stress levels. Let’s not forget we have pregnant women, the elderly and babies living in our societies.
Smoke from firecrackers can aggravate problems for people suffering from cold allergies or coughs and can also cause congestion of throat and chest. The high SPM levels can lead to eye, throat and nose irritations.
It also affects the health of those who earn their livelihood by making firecrackers. Gunpowder is one of the main components in fireworks. It adversely affects the lungs of those handling it which can be life threatening.
And also not to forget, kids and youth love to “experiment” while handling fireworks. There are many fireworks related injuries reported every year.
Don’t get me started on how badly fireworks affect animals. Every year I have to calm my dogs and assure them the world isn’t ending.
Dogs can hear 4 times the distance of a human with normal hearing. They can hear higher pitched sounds and can detect a frequency range of 67-45,000 Hz, compared to a human range of 64-23,000 Hz.
This means that dogs hear sounds much louder than we do. This can lead to dogs getting anxious and nervous. My dogs being indoors cower in fear, I can only imagine the trauma faced by stray animals. The stray animals struggle all their life, let’s not add to it.
Fireworks are fun but is it worth it? Ask yourself. Are firecrackers really an integral part of Diwali celebrations? When we know that it is causing harm, not just to you, but everyone else around, it’s time that we stop and change our ways. You have the power to make a difference. Educate and spread awareness.
“Those who have the privilege to know have the duty to act”-Albert Einstein
You be the light this Diwali.