Crackers have been used during celebrations in many cultures around the world since time immemorial.In the bygone era,when there were limited resources of entertainment and recreation,the crackers must have brought a sense of novelty and thrill to the people.Those days air pollution was not even an issue.But as times have changed drastically,I feel the crackers have outlived their use in any form.
First and foremost is the concern over increased rate of air pollution in major cities and the deteriorating air quality.Many folks might argue that one night of cracker bursting will hardly have a major impact on levels of pollution.Contrary to this line of thought, research and monitoring has shown that pollutant levels in the air can rise almost tenfold just in one night during festivals like diwali .And the worrying part is that each year the use of crackers has been increasing almost multifold.
Sometimes this increased pollution in the air can be torturous for patients with respiratory diseases like asthma and bronchitis.Someone’s enjoyment can turn their life into hell as they face constant difficulty in breathing.This has been known to be the cause behind increase in prevalence of these diseases even in small kids and also in general population.
Most of these crackers are manufactured in units in Sivakasi employing kids,thus guilty of child labor which is illegal and inhuman.The working conditions in these factories are hazardous even for adults.Imagine the plight of suffering kids who work there!
Also when there are immeasurable means of entertainment available to us in this digital age,what is the need to resort to something as unsafe as cracker bursting.Many fire incidents have been known to have occurred as a result of even a minor error.Some of them are small incidents which don’t cause much casualty but some are too disastrous.Even this year,the fire department reported at least dozens of fire incidents in major cities.In Ludhiana itself there were around thirty such accidents involving fire due to crackers which resulted in great loss of property.
Recently, a warehouse of Goonj in Delhi,an NGO working to provide clothes and other necessities to the poor and needy was gutted in a fire caused by a fire cracker.This organisation has been working tirelessly and consistently for the benefit of homeless since many years.The whole lot of blankets,woolens,clothes which had been collected painstakingly to distribute among the homeless and poor during the approaching harsh winter months got burnt completely.The hopes of some respite from cold which the thousands were eagerly waiting for were dashed by one unruly fire cracker. Spare a moment about how the needy will suffer in absence of all this stuff when the chilly winds threaten to crush their bones during winter and rains.