This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Nitya Singh. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

Does Diwali Have To Mean Loud Crackers And Pollution?

More from Nitya Singh

India is known for its festive season, and the ‘big bang’ festival period has already started. Navratri is going on and soon about to end on Dussehra, followed by Karwa Chauth and then Deepawali. Diwali is a major Indian festival, celebrated with great zeal and enthusiasm, throughout the country People leave no stone unturned when it comes to making the best preparations for such a festival.

When we used to write short essays in our schools on Deepawali, the most essential information that was included in it used to be that this festival is celebrated because Lord Ram came back to his own home, Ayodhya, after spending 14 years in the jungle and after winning the battle against Raavan. So the people of Ayodhya welcomed the arrival of their king, Lord Ram, along with his wife Sita and brother Laxman.

Present-day Deepawali celebrations include lighting our houses with diyas and candles, and I feel that is the most beautiful and traditional method. Ideally, one should go for that always because that is how it was done. But still, using artificial lighting to decorate the houses is not that bad of an option as it pleases the eyes to watch a colourful world. But, where did this concept of firecrackers arrive from?

The worldwide use of fireworks, along with their resulting detrimental effects on air quality, has been widely recognised by many studies conducted during such events with high ambient air levels of particulate matter and its many metal components and gases. Exposed individuals may be at risk after breathing in such produced pollutants. Doctors and experts have expressed concerns over the harms of smoke coming from firecrackers, and for the environment as well, and especially for COVID-19 patients and those who have recovered from the infection.

It is the prime responsibility of the people to understand that there are hundreds of thousands and lakhs of people who are struggling to live. And indeed it’s the toughest time going on right now. It is known to everyone that Coronavirus is the disease that directly affects the lungs, and the fumes and particulate matter released by burning of crackers triggers increase cough, sputum, throat irritation, breathlessness and also worsen pre-existing asthma, COPD, and increases the risk of respiratory infection.

Even if we forget the presence of the Coronavirus for some time, then also it has been recommended since long that firecrackers should be avoided and even abolished completely, but people don’t care for the lives of others over their fun and enjoyment. They’ll surely wake up when something might happen to them because of the same.

For representation only.

However, the present condition is entirely different and people who are already suffering and are prone to this will have to pay a lot because of those people who place their fun above humanity. Government is not going to ban the firecrackers as it adds an apple to the pie, meaning that the bumper buy and sell of the crackers will generate much revenue. But, selling death in an open market, and even buying it, giving all the money we earn after much hardships don’t seem to be a good idea.

Also, the usage of crackers increases the air pollution Disaster. Remember the 2019 Delhi smog? Many reports came that during the lockdown, just because there was no pollution created by the vehicles, people in Punjab could spot the Himalayan peaks. So imagine, without even a single strand of smoke or smog, how beautiful the country will become!

Along with the pollution-free Diwali, a decibels-free Diwali is much-needed. The Central Pollution Control Board analysed and recorded that excessive levels of noise pollution due to crackers with louder noise in recent years have impacted a lot of senior citizens. And again, a reminder that Diwali is celebrated to mark the return of Lord Ram to his hometown Ayodhya after 14 years of exile.

The people of Ayodhya celebrated the occasion by lighting diyas and distributing sweets, and the bursting of crackers is mentioned in the Ramayana or any other scripture.

In fact, the gun powder used in crackers is a Chinese invention. So crackers were never part of Hinduism and should not be carried out in the name of religion. In fact, I feel bursting crackers is actually against the practice of Indian culture.

I really hope this brings a positive change to your minds and you become human beings in the true sense, thinking about others pain first.

Light candles and diyas, pray to the almighty to get all things back on track, and distribute sweets. Wish you a happy Deepawali in advance!

You must be to comment.

More from Nitya Singh

Similar Posts

By Soumita Sen

By Imran Khan

By Shruti Jairaj Singh

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below