Growing up, Diwali used to be my favourite festival - the mithais, the hanging of lights, the flower decorations, the colourful rangolis, seeing the night sky lit up with fireworks - Diwali was a magical festival in every way. But with the exponential increase in pollution with each passing year, it has become the time of the year which I dread.
Every year around Diwali, the capital is covered in a blanket of toxic smog, taking more and more lives with each passing year. While bursting crackers was a mark of celebration two decades ago, in light of the accelerated climate change and the imminent threat to our lives, it is time that we acknowledge that bursting crackers is no longer 'celebratory'.
In 2018, the Supreme Court laid down various guidelines to be followed in different parts of the country. However, the impact was limited only to last year and there is no clear indication on whether the same norms are to be/will be followed this year as well.
In order to fight the pollution that is, literally, killing the city and in order to fight the global warming monster that looms large over our heads, we request the Chief Minister of Delhi to build on the ruling of the Supreme Court and lay down the following guideline(s) with immediate effect:
- Limit the bursting of firecrackers between 8pm to 9pm in Delhi NCR. This should be done either alongside (3) or even otherwise.
- For stricter implementation of (1) install a helpline number for citizens to report any violations.
- Demarcate public places for bursting of firecrackers - like DDA parks and community centres. No bursting of crackers in residential colonies, since children and senior citizens are most severely impacted. This should be done either alongside (1) or even otherwise.
- Limit sale of crackers to adults. No sale of crackers to persons below 18 years of age.
It is 2019 and we are already seeing the worst climate crisis. Let's make this little contribution and let Diwali be a #HappyDiwali!