Even though nobody takes them seriously, self-proclaimed environmentalists, as usual, have started cribbing about the soar in air pollution due to the bursting of firecrackers aftermath the eve of Diwali. Trees are incessantly being cut to fulfill the increasing demand for “Say No To Crackers”, Ban Crackers This Diwali”, and “Let’s Save The Environment” placards. Environmentalists turned economists have predicted that the sale of these placards will give a major boost to the economy, which will ultimately compensate the monetary value of environmental loss arising out of cutting down of trees. Well, it rankles me the most when these placard holders argue that people of Ayodhya hadn’t burnt firecrackers on the arrival of Shri Rama, then why are you doing so, thereby polluting the environment? Let’s settle the score with all those cantankerous people, right now! To the best of my knowledge, Shri Rama had not used motor vehicles to reach Ayodhya, which in present times, majorly contributes to air pollution. My question to them is – why don’t they prefer walking, or riding bicycles or public transports, instead of commuting by motor vehicles just to show off their elitism and coolness?
Keeping aside all these lame arguments and predictions, we, in this article, shall analyse whether bursting crackers on Diwali is the major contributor to air pollution or it has become a new norm to lecture us on how we should celebrate our festivals.
As per the WHO database on air quality, 9 Indian cities are placed in the list of the world’s most polluted cities. The concentration of PM2.5 – one of the most harmful particles for human health – is much higher than the recommended level.
The air quality starts worsening when Diwali is around the corner, especially in North Indian states. As a result, the bursting of crackers is considered as the major source of air pollution, but in reality, the major factors that degrade the air quality and give rise to air pollution are mentioned below:
1. Stubble burning
2. Exhaust emissions from vehicles
3. Construction and industrial activities
4. Weather pattern across the region trapping pollutants
Lastly, I would say that it’s our personal choice of how we want to celebrate our festivals. Targeting our festivals has become a new norm, be it Holi or Diwali. It’s high time when we need to ruthlessly bust out their vicious propaganda, and preserve our traditions and culture.
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