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The joy of celebrations

Photo: Special Arrangement  

The festival of lights brings with itself the ultimate delight of triumph of lord Rama over Ravana, implicitly imparting the moral value of good over evil to the society. And the celebrations are extended across the nation, creating a homogenous environment of good will and happiness.

The occasion of victory is celebrated in a bifurcated manner, 20 days prior to Diwali we have Dusshera which embarks the end of Ravana and is celebrated by burning his humongous effigies across country. So, the preparations begin around the following weeks of Dusshera with all lightings around the houses and people plunging themselves into shopping, all thanks to the festive season sales. Over the years, the celebrations have gone extravagant and taken a toll over not only the environment but also weakened the finances of many shoppers. With bumper discounts thrown in on every possible product in the market, the common consumer falls to the temptation of many times unnecessary buying and spending.

There is also an increasing concern over environmental pollution and the safety issues involved in making and bursting fire crackers. On the day of Diwali and the following days, the particulate matter in the atmosphere is at its pinnacle that can attribute to serious health issues.

The growing social awareness concerning our environment through policies, NGO’s, social media, has motivated many citizens across the country to come forward in supporting eco-friendly ways to celebrate Diwali as these are very simple and cost effective.

If one can’t stay away from bursting crackers to celebrate Diwali, the best way is to stick to eco-friendly crackers made with recycled paper. There are factories that manufacture these crackers that emit less smoke, produce sound within the noise limit of 125 dB to 145 db and also produce more light. There is a great demand for them in the metros in comparison to small towns and villages, where people still rejoice in bursting the fiery-loud crackers.

The dynamic nature of people’s demands drives the market. If people refrain from using the polluting crackers, manufacturers will surely look for alteration in composition of crackers.

Much also depends on peoples’ mindset and attitude. Instead of electrified lamps made of non-recyclable plastic and cost heavy on power consumption, people can choose to light the earthen lamps. These can be recycled, are cost-effective and add a dash of natural beauty to the decorations. The option of switching on lights may seem appealing and hassle free. But just think, it is the traditional way of celebrating diwali that actually holds good from all perspectives of protecting our own health and that of the environment as well.

People should also use natural organic colours, flowers or cereals for making the Rangolis instead of chemical colours that are rampantly available in the market.

By adopting preventive measures of limiting the sound decibel of crackers, discouraging potassium chlorate products, promoting better alternatives for decorations and the increasing production of e-crackers, the festival can be better enjoyed. Environment pollution is not an ailment that can be cured with these measures overnight. But it is time and proper to take a step towards eco-friendly practices in whatever we do. Recycling and renewability are the key words today for better living. Let us all try to keep that in mind this Diwali and minimise our efforts towards causing further damage to our fragile environment.

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Printable version | Nov 24, 2020 4:34:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/The-joy-of-celebrations/article16084468.ece

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