Aarohi Chaudhuri, 11 years old , Mumbai, Nov 13
Last year ,me and my friends , the children of Maker Kundan Gardens and UTI Officers Quarters , in Juhu , celebrated a cracker free Diwali , as Crackers and Fireworks are the single largest cause of respiratory diseases like Bronchial Asthma, Chronic Bronchitis and other Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases. The other reasons are -
- Levels of Air pollution, which are already high in India, reach astronomical levels on Diwali and can be very harmful to the human body.
- Crackers release a lot of Ultra-violet and Infrared radiation, which are harmful to the eyes and the body parts.
- Maximum numbers of Burn cases are reported during Diwali due to the improper use of crackers.
- Humans might be able to protect themselves, but the crackers have a deep physical and mental impact upon animals.
- Most of the factories manufacturing crackers employ children. So by bursting we are encouraging Child Labour.
- Noise pollution due to the sound of these crackers is above the permitted levels. Crackers can cause deafness.We also started donation drive and raised Rs 5,000 which were given to NGOGoon, and this year we again continue .Last year, we were a small group of 6 dedicated children, Aarohi, Pulkit, Rahul, Kshitij, Pranesh, , Naman , Ibad, Esha , Brihataj , but now seeing our success we were joined by more children our numbers increased to 9 children. We are operating on a small scale, only in our locality, in Juhu Mumbai. The children are in age group of 9-13 years.The primary reason we started this was a newspaper article I read sometime in October 2011. It brought to light the death of a child due to being accidently hit on the head by one of those popular toy guns.
One thing that makes me grateful to my friends is the answer they gave their parents as to why they were part of this campaign. I expected something like “My friend told me it was a good idea.”, but definitely not, “I am doing this because I know what would have happened if I had been in place of that child who died due to a makeshift gun.” That truly left me elated.
We also run a Facebook page called Eco friendly diwali which we started last year. We intend to donate what we collected to an acclaimed NGO named Goonj as we did last year.
Even though we collect donations for the downtrodden, the driving focus behind our campaign is to celebrate an eco friendly diwali.
Though many children in our neighborhood still burst crackers, we are not disheartened and are still working towards our goal.
We hope adults also join us , So let’s celebrate Diwali (Deepavali) as a festival of lights, not sound!
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