Staff Reporter

As a mark of protest against child labour

COIMBATORE: Udavum Karangal, a home that rehabilitates orphaned children and adults with mental illness, will celebrate an eco-friendly Deepavali this year.

As a mark of protest against child labour and support to activities against global warming, the children and adults at the home will celebrate Deepavali with little earthen lamps and a special lunch with sweets.

“We are saying ‘no’ to firecrackers and are encouraging more people to follow our example,” says R.Rajagopal Governing Body Member of Udavum Karangal. As the entire world is discussing the threats posed by global warming, it is not fair on our part to contribute to the pollution of the environment, he adds.

Bursting firecrackers causes noise pollution and the smoke generated also contributes to environmental pollution. Those who burst firecrackers rarely clear up the mess after the festivities, Mr.Rajagopal adds.

The children at the home are being educated on the harmful aspects of bursting firecrackers.

“It is an unjustifiable expenditure especially, during the time of a financial crisis,” Mr. Rajagopal says.

Most of the firecrackers are manufactured in Sivakasi, where children are employed for the job.

The industry promotes child labour and as more and more people buy these firecrackers, more children are being introduced into the trade.

The home receives a lot of public donations especially, during festive seasons. The money is usually enough to last an entire year. But, this time around, the contributions have fallen, Mr.Rajagopal observes.

“It may be because of the steep rise in prices. We are going to feel the pinch this year,” he says.

Instead of spending money on firecrackers, we can share our joy with the underprivileged. “Spend some time with the ailing, the orphaned or the disabled,” he says.