I love Diwali. I mean, who doesn’t? Sweets, new clothing, diyas, meeting family and friends, fire cracke—oh.
Firecrackers. A beautiful sight to all of us. Every year on Diwali and Vishu (a festival commonly celebrated in Kerala), I and my family used to by tons of firecrackers from the cheapest store available next to our house and burst them. I loved those nights when its all pitched black and the only thing that brightens it is firecrackers. Green, yellow, red, blue, white and golden coloured crackers used to light up the sky like shooting stars. Children used to scream, jump in joy and play around with sparklers, and the adults used to handle the dangerous ones, like the rockets and wheelies.
No matter what type they are, crackers are a sight for sore eyes. Well, if crackers are so beautiful then why is that kid in our neighbourhood, who takes part in a nature conservation campaign, protesting against them? Why is it so bad to view something so pleasant to our eyes? Something that brings us happiness and joy? Why are people sending ‘Do not Burst FireCrackers‘ gifs in WhatsApp? What’s wrong with all these people?
The ‘wrong’ is not with the people who are against crackers. They are with the people who know why we should not burst them but never try to understand it. The reason is pretty well-known. It causes pollution. It’s hazardous to the air and the impact is going to be on us, who breathes the polluted air. I know that this does not surprise you because we all know it. But with this extensive knowledge and education, why are we acting like fools? Why are we acting like nothing matters?
To the adults who burst firecrackers this Diwali, did you realise you are killing your own children? The pollution you are causing will directly impact your kids than you. Because your kids are the ones who are going to love in this world now. It’s their chance to prove their abilities and live a happy adult life. And you are destroying their opportunities, their wishes, and their future. There is no point in saving up for their career now if you are going to burst crackers because they won’t have to live to need a career.
My friends and I started this initiative where we are trying to make a positive impact on climate change and global warming. We are currently on a mission to plant 3,000 trees in 2 months but as it is Diwali, we also made another plan. To ban firecrackers in as many households as possible. We want to spread this message to as many people as possible and ensure that none of them is polluting the air even further.
We worked hard to make an E-magazine, full of eco-friendly DIYs and recipes to try out during Diwali. We spread it around the media, hoping at least a few people would take notice of it. But none of them did. No one acknowledged anything, leaving us in despair. This was the least that we 13-years-olds could do. We are trying to make a change when none of the adults even care about it.
We are fighting for our own life when the adults are making it harder for us There are thousands of kids like us, all around India and the world, fighting against the climate crisis, because it is us who have to endure all the future consequences, not our parents.
When my friend said ‘no’ to her family when they suggested bursting crackers, her family humiliated her, teased and made fun of her, saying that she was acting ‘childish’. They went on bursting crackers, ignoring her words, thoroughly enjoying themselves. She was crying in her bedroom when she realised that if this goes on, we would all soon die. She was kept away by her family from doing something good and worthy. We kids have more sense than our parents. Even though they are the ‘mature ones’ and the ‘sensible ones’, we have more common sense than them!
See, I know that crackers are a lot of fun but if you consider the consequences we would have to face once we burst them, it not fun at all. It’s like medicine, because when taken in small doses it might not affect us much, but if we exceed the limit of the consumption, we can actually die. Bursting a few firecrackers might have been acceptable now if we hadn’t done enough damage in the past. Considering the fact that we have already done it, its time for us to stop its usage.
Its time for adults to act because they are the one who has already done the damage. We were kids, we didn’t know that the beautiful light that shows up during the night on Diwali are the things that could end our lives one day. We didn’t know that what our parents were doing could be the cause of the ‘end of the world’. But they knew it all along. They knew everything. They knew it was harmful to the environment, harmful to their children and harmful to the whole earth. But they still kept going at it and didn’t even bother thinking about it until we grew up and told it to them.
But, even after we have pointed out the consequences, they are still not stopping it because “they are just kids” and “they don’t know what they are saying”. We know what we are saying! We know that it is harmful to us and that is why we are begging you to stop it. Adults are flat out ignoring our cries and then take the entire thing out of context, and are translating it into “They don’t know what they are saying.”
These are not ‘made up stories’ to blame adults. These are real-life incidents that I and my friends have faced and do not wish to face again. And we have done enough to address and spread awareness. We have done it enough. It’s time to implement them. And if adults cant contributes to what their kid is fighting for, then at least stop making it harder for them.
Have a happy, safe, and pollution-free Diwali!