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Updated: October 17, 2011 20:44 IST

Cracking up the environment

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Lethal beauty: Fireworks polluting the atmosphere PHOTO: K.R. DEEPAK
Lethal beauty: Fireworks polluting the atmosphere PHOTO: K.R. DEEPAK

Festivals without fireworks? There are many options to have a cleaner and a greener one with equal enjoyment.

In spite of Environment Science becoming a compulsory part of the school curriculum just how much do we focus on its application in everyday life?

In the name of festivals and celebrations we indulge, giving little thought to what we are doing. For instance come Deepavali and all lessons on a green environment take a back seat!

Take care

Its time again for the Festival of Lights and along with diyas and mithais the patakas are customary. To some the visual appeal of a flower pot or a ground chakra is exciting as the deafening bang of a Bomb is to others.

However entertaining, fire crackers add to air pollution, noise pollution and leave behind heaps of residual garbage.

Despite spiralling costs of fire crackers majority insist that there can be no festival without them.

Shrija from Std. X of Gitanjali, admits, “although I know I'm wasting my dad's money I do like bursting crackers, particularly bombs. But I certainly think that it should be done in limitation because of the pollution it causes.”

Manual work

“To produce firecrackers that are blown up in 48 hours the production units of Sivakasi work ten months of the year.

Most of the production is done manually as machinery is not permitted on safety grounds,” says an ex-employee.

Several employees develop respiratory problems due to the gunpowder which is made up of salt petre, charcoal and sulphur.

Moreover, crop production in the area has been affected as agricultural labour prefers to work in fire cracker factories which pay higher wages forcing some farmers to even give up agriculture.

Steps to take

Moderation could be a vital key, one can burst a small ladi instead of a ten thousand long strip that goes on for a ear shattering half hour, there is always the sparklers that silently announce the joy of festivity, we could celebrate in groups rather than individually, the thick smoke emitting variety could be avoided on health grounds – the solutions are plenty and you can well be an implementer. The simple fact remains that fire works as much as fire destroys!

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