By Surabhi Jain:
This Diwali, be ‘pataka smart’. If you don’t already know that India is grappling with a huge pollution problem, let me list out a few reasons why you should probably skip lighting fire crackers this year:
Even though some state ministers, like Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, have banned the entry of Chinese crackers, they are still being smuggled in. Police reports that almost ₹1,500 crore worth of Chinese fireworks are smuggled and flooded into the Indian markets under the garb of toy imports. And guess who is creating this huge demand?
Many media reports clearly show that Chinese manufacturers use lower quality and hence, cheaper chemicals in their fire crackers, which make them dangerous. These fire crackers flout all production and noise pollution rules prescribed by the Environment (Protection) Rules, 1986 and the Explosives Rules, 2008. So this year, instead of only giving detailed safety instructions to the kids, do them a favour and buy good quality non-Chinese fire crackers.
India has a firecracker manufacturing industry worth more than ₹6,000 crore, employing more than 5 lakh Indian families. While we are willing to pay extra for a good seat at the movie hall, we still don’t buy safer and a little more expensive Indian firecrackers that could avert a life threatening circumstance.
Your best bet is actually to steer clear from buying any crackers at all. Even Beijing banned fire crackers for several years! We need to stop somewhere. We need to contribute somehow.