Celebrating A Green Diwali


The festival of Diwali, the festival of lights – bazaars (markets) decorated and clogged with zealous buyers, homes ornamented and lit up with diyas (oil lamps) and candles, people distributing sweets and gifts to friends and family – it all earmarks the colourful Deepavali. It is a festival of joy, and rightly so.

There is one thing we forget in all of the festivity, something which we have been forgetting all our lives – the environment. Crackers, which supposedly give joy to innumerable people, contribute bucket loads to air pollution and noise pollution.

According to a Times of India report, there is only one direction pollution levels are headed-to in Delhi – up! While a lot of health hazards are associated with firecrackers, viz. asthma, bronchitis, stress and respiratory problems, it also contributes to environmental pollution.

Delhi has already been reported as the most polluted city of the world, according to a study by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Last thing it needs is a day when the dispersal of particulate matters in the air is representative of a festival norm. Not only Delhi, but the whole world is suffering from this epidemic of pollution. Regrettably, not many have given heed to the whole issue of environmental pollution.

That can change this Diwali. As a matter of fact, we can begin on the festival itself. After all, it is a festival of the win of good over evil. This Diwali, one must take joy in spreading love, rather than bursting firecrackers. It doesn’t bring any good whatsoever. Even for the people, who take pleasure in bursting crackers, can take the green route. Eco-friendly firecrackers are available in the market, and according to a survey by Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), as reported by India Today, they are even pocket-friendly.

There is every chance to avoid going beyond acceptable pollution levels. It would be impractical to believe it can be a silent Diwali, or a pollution-free Diwali, but limiting to a threshold is doable (and in reality, a necessity).

A spiritual connotation is associated with nature, hence the term – Mother Nature. There is plenty of reason to demarcate the celebration of Lord Rama’s return by respecting this Mother Nature.

Vikas Arora

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