Friday, October 24, 2008

Let There Be Light...!!

Diwali is here.. and like every time its a joyous moment of celebration and festivities. Not just in India but also in lots of other countries, where Indians are in abundance...! So as usual it involves a lot of celebrations, shopping, traditional stuffs... and the dreaded crackers. I am not a big fan of crackers, as anyone who knows me for more than 2 years would be able to guess why. The reasons are many, but the solution is in fact very simple. Don't burst crackers...!  One of the reasons is the pollution it causes. The other reason being the alleged use of child labour to manufacture them. And of course the fact that they are highly irresponsible objects to have fun with.

For the first reason, well, i suppose everyone knows the smoke and and noise that they produce. They hardly think of the long term consequences of them. We are actually contributing to Nitrogen Dioxide, Sulphur Dioxide as well as other harmful gases, raising the levels considerably on the days of Diwali. They are in fact harming themselves as well as all others exposed to them. If not now, in a few years, the effects of these drastic inclusions to the environment will add up, to produce a larger impact on environment and health. As it is, we have so many harmful smoke emitting sources, do we need to contribute even more...??

And the noise produced is just plainly pointless...! Whats the fun in a big "BOOM"...? The sound for one scares every little bird, cat or dog in the vicinity and is an extremely cruel torture to them...! Why just the animals, even people are uncomfortable due to these sudden explosion and are good enough to give a heart attack to anyone who is not up to the mark..! Of course then there are direct immediate accidents that do happen every year..! People, especially children getting burnt, losing their eyes or even worse. Unfortunately, sometimes even those not involved in bursting them, get hurt too...!

And what about the trash that they leave behind..? Ever thought of cleaning them up..? Or just leave it to be swept into drains and gutters, or just let them to lie around and rot. Its not just enough to clean our up house. The streets need to be kept clean too... at least lets not make it even more dirtier..!! Looking at the streets the day after Diwali, reminds me what sort of an irresponsible and dirty creatures we all are...!

Coming to another issue, employing little children to manufacture the crackers, is both a crime and a sin. It does happen, no matter how much its being denied. Children are lot a cheaper, demand less and are very easily exploited. The children, half fed, exposed to chemicals have to work overtime to make ready the stocks for Diwali. They are robbed off their childhood, exposed to deadly risks, and their dreams squashed, just so that someone can experience the thrill of a few sparks and a loud pop. To us it may just be 500-1000 bucks and a cart load of fun, but to those poor kids, it was days of labour under a lot of suffering. Is it really worth it..?

I know, some of you might think, this provides them a source of livelihood, and by buying crackers you are actually helping them. ( Very lame argument actually ). But think, why do you have to go through so much trouble to help them? Why not directly spend the amount, that you wish to buy crackers for, on the poor and the needy..? Wont that give you real satisfaction of actually doing something meaningful and worthwhile..??

Crackers and bombs are not really part of tradition. Its supposed to be a festival of lights, prosperity and happiness. In fact Diwali means 'a row of lamps' in Sanskrit. I believe no where it was meant to be a "festival of random chaotic noise and explosion". So down the years this has become more and more commercial. Experts call this YAHCT syndrome or Yet Another Heavily Commercialized Tradition ( and not YATCH ). So its just a lucrative business time, like many other festival times. As long as its clothes or washing machine sales, i dont mind. But when it comes to selling things that are way too harmful to everyone, then its just plain selfish and irresponsible greed..!

There are laws of course, which supposedly enforce the norms for these things. But then these are just laws, meant to be broken and bent in India.

Here are a few more points that are of note...! Do take a look. Some laws, tests, harmful effects etc. I would have posted them here, but as it is this article has become way too big for anyone to read it...

                            http://www.indiatogether.org/environment/articles/diwali.htm

So celebrate Diwali in a more responsible, happier and cleaner way. Spread love and not pollution.

Wishing you a Prosperous, Clean and Pollution less Diwali.

Let There Be Light....!!!

7 Comments:

Visu said...

Nice one dude. I was actually expecting a Flash thingy asusual, Oh well!!
Speaking about the festival, as was said, its festival of LIGHTS..!!!
Even I don't burst crackers. Child labor is everywhere and its just at its peak in the "kutty japan", which is quite bad. I sometimes wonder whats the fun in the bzzz.. BOOM..! But, I like watching fireworks from a considerable distance(My next street neighbor is a seth :P). Diwali reminds me of just one thing- the sweets I get from my neighbors :D..

Wishing you all a happy and SAFE/CLEAN Diwali...!

Philip Kingsley said...

When u capitalized the starting letter of each paragraph, i thought even those letters would form a beautiful phrase...

The trash that is left behind is recycled by the soil and enriches the soil nutrients which is offcourse of no use cause no one is growing plants there.

Bhargavi said...

Even I don't like bursting crackers.. actually I'm afraid of it. The noise it creates is irritating at times. I would surely kill the person who found these thousand.. ten thousand.. twenty thousand walas, if I find him/her.

But yeah the other stuffs like flower pots, chakras, above all rockets are great! I like watching the rockets.

Diwali would be really great if only there were no child labourers, air n noise pollution, trash et al.

Happy diwali to all!

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Aslam said...

@Phil...

Dude.. Are u serious about your recycling idea..?? And what abt the harmful chemicals left in the trash..? Do they suit the plants too...??

@Bhargavi...

I agree.. except the killing part..!

@Visu

Yaaay.. sweets and goodies..! Thats the best reason for all celebrations..!! Oh and also the days u get off from work, school etc...!

Visu said...

@Aslam

Ah yes, A day off, what a delight..! :)

@Philip

Eh what? How on earth the explosive chemical "enriches" the soil nutrients?.. (Educate me, oh!)

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