#StrictImplementation of #SupremeCourt #Festive Firecracker orders #MyRightToBreathe

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I love Diwali. I love the warm lights, the diyas, the bright colours, sweets, rangoli, family & friends and those decorated puja rooms. I am a grateful Hindu and love our traditions. I have also watched an asthmatic friend struggle for breath every Diwali, a friend's child squeeze shut her eyes with fear, after she got burnt, my dad reaching out for his inhaler and mask, and so many dogs running away or  cowering uncontrollably in drains.  For them- its World War III.

Lord Ram was welcomed with flowers, light - with diyas , not with deafening, dangerous firecrackers. So why are WE doing this and destroying the spirit of Diwali, our lungs and our compassion for others? Cases of asthma/bronchitis go up exponentially , eyes water, children cough on the way to school, hospital patients and sick people suffer with the noise, hundreds of dogs ran away out of shock and fear. And don't get me started on the air pollution the city suffers for just a few hours of our fun. Speaking up about anything with a religious flavour, unfortunately puts you into the anti-national category, as if standing up for good health of friends and family is somehow wrong. Many of us keep quiet, or allow ourselves to get cowed down and bullied by those who drag in all religions and accuse us of being sell-out Hindus!

Thankfully there is the law. Hon Supreme Court in its 30 Oct 18 orders, has made clear rules on timings, green firecrackers and on strong implementation by city authorities as WELL as monitoring of the pollution index. Last year this was put into place only TWO days before the event, resulting in knee jerk reaction, poor implementation as police were unaware as were the firecracker merchants and celebrators. Diwali is October 27th this year and we want CM to release the orders, advance information, communication and proper guideline and messaging to be started right away. There is no point having sullen people feeling cheated and upset with their favourite festival literally going up in smoke. Have community Diwali events with eco friendly green crackers. It's possible !  Last year sale of crackers dipped by nearly 50% so that is good news. Let's empathise & partner with our people, and with our authorities to ensure a low noise and air pollution festival of lights and a more inclusive celebration to welcome the new year.

Police to ensure order is followed, BBMP to insist on sale eco friendly crackers only  , waste and crackers , Karnataka Pollution Board  to issue orders on sale & pollutants, CM and CS to ensure that messaging and encouragement comes in right from the top to preserve #SwachhBharath

Let's do it because we love Diwali. Let's do it because we are good people & its the right thing to do.