Diwali, also known as the Festival of Lights, is one of the most celebrated festivals in India, marked by joyous gatherings, beautiful decorations, and the lighting of lamps. However, a practice that has become synonymous with Diwali is the bursting of firecrackers, a tradition that many eagerly anticipate. While this may add to the festivity for some, the harmful effects of bursting crackers cannot be ignored, extending to environmental, health, and social concerns.
The bursting of crackers during Diwali leads to a significant increase in air pollution. The smoke emitted from these fireworks contains harmful substances like sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and particulate matter, contributing to smog formation and making the air quality deteriorate rapidly. Many cities experience hazardous levels of air pollution during and after the Diwali celebrations, posing serious threats to both the environment and public health. The noise pollution caused by loud firecrackers also adversely affects natural ecosystems, disturbing the natural behaviour of animals and birds.
The immediate health effects of air pollution caused by bursting crackers are profound, especially for children, the elderly, and those with pre-existing health conditions. Respiratory issues, including asthma and bronchitis, can be aggravated by the polluted air. The loud noises from the firecrackers can lead to hearing impairment and sleep disturbances.
While firecrackers are associated with joy and celebration for some, they can cause distress and anxiety for others, including infants, the elderly, and pets. The unchecked use of firecrackers leads to accidents and injuries every year, with burns and eye injuries being common. The widespread use of firecrackers also contributes to economic disparities, as they are often manufactured in unsafe conditions, leading to child labour and exploitation.
Beyond the tangible harm, there are ethical considerations as well. The celebration of a festival that is deeply rooted in cultural and spiritual values should not come at the expense of the environment and public well-being. Compassion, respect for nature, and consideration for fellow human beings must be upheld.
In conclusion, the harmful effects of bursting crackers on Diwali are wide-ranging, impacting the environment, human health, and society. Sustainable and eco-friendly alternatives to firecrackers, such as lighting lamps and enjoying community gatherings, should be encouraged. Diwali can continue to be a time of joy and celebration without causing harm to our planet or our fellow beings. It’s an opportunity to reflect on our actions and make choices that align with the true spirit of the festival, embracing harmony, compassion, and respect for all life.