Indian festivals has always been known for its extravagant celebrations. Diwali is one of the biggest festivals in the country. Apart from the cultural and religious connections, the festival is often linked to air pollution, noise pollution, waste and several other negative impacts on the environment. For a few years now, there has been a significant campaign from activists, environmentalists, corporations and individuals to ensure there is less harmful impact on society due to the festivals which is celebrated by millions of people.
Fiinovation reviews that many initiatives such as Smokeless Diyas, restriction on crackers, etc. have been implemented, but not to much effect. Therefore, it is required that India implements a comprehensive action plan in which there is voluntary participation of the people to ensure that the Diwali celebrations doesn’t harm the society and environment.
At this time, the solid waste generation increases significantly filling the dump yards, ponds and lakes. In most of the metropolitan cities, dumps of waste after Diwali is a common sight. The harmful chemicals seep into the water bodies through drains damaging the entire ecosystem of the water bodies.
Fiinovation believes all these negative effects go unnoticed as humans remain busy in their celebrations. The air quality in almost all the Indian cities reaches the ‘severe’ mark. Yet, people continue to ignore the negative impacts of the festival of light.
So, the question here is that are we as individuals doing every thing to ensure that we celebrate Diwali in a eco-friendly way?
The answer might not be satisfactory for many experts, however it is never too late to act on the recommendations. There is a dire need to change the way we celebrate these festivals. For example, instead of bursting crackers, we can ask our children to bloom flowers.
Here are few recommendations which might help the society take adequate steps to reduce the negative impacts of Diwali:
Fireworks Free Diwali – The elders needs to guide the younger generations to stop buying fireworks instead contribute the money towards a cause helping people who are in need of support.
Time Out! – During Diwali, Indians are generally busy in several activities, but it is recommended to take out few hours to volunteer on social causes. This can also be done at an institutional level with corporations urging their employees to dedicate few hours towards social responsibilities.
Waste Free Gifts – Innovative gifts such as plant saplings, recycled products, etc. that ensures reduction on waste generation.
Swachh Bharat – The Prime Minister of India has started a campaign which requires participation of all people. The work of keeping the nation clean is not an one time job, rather it is during such festivals that we need to ensure we don’t dump garbage on streets and in water bodies. Instead, segregate both bio-degradable and non bio-degradable waste and dispose them responsibly.
It is expected that with these small steps taken by everyone, Indians can definitely reduce harmful impacts of Diwali. Even the corporations can contribute towards sustainability by developing eco-friendly products and awareness programmes.
Therefore, let’s make a difference and be the change we want to see.
By Rahul Choudhury
Media & Communications, Fiinovation