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Supreme court in India levied a temporary ban on the sale of firecrackers in Delhi NCR few days prior to Diwali and of course, people had a lot to say about it. But before we begin talking about the controversies, let’s discuss the ban itself.
This petition was filed by Arjun Gopal, Aarav Bhandari and Zoya Rao Bhasin (all infants between the age of 6-11 months) last year on 11th November to request a ban on firecrackers with the help of their parents. And the parents of these infants gathered enough support to file a petition and actually won! Because even they figured that the pollution isn’t worth one night of fun. According to a 2015 study, it was found that about half of Delhi’s 4.4 million schoolchildren had compromised lung capacity and would never totally recover.
Now this is, if anything, an issue of personal choice and freedom but it isn’t a religious issue, is it? Those kids don’t know religion, they just want a safe environment to breathe in. However, some disagreed and went ahead to make communal statements (read a so-called-author who doesn’t live in Delhi).
But if you pay attention, you’ll realise that the issue isn’t just about a festival. From 15th October, other rules will also be implemented, as a follow up on the issue - a new scaled action plan to restrict polluting industries and traffic, to improve the quality of air. The diesel generators will be stopped and parking fees will rise to reduce the use of individual transport and encourage public transport if the air quality worsens.
So instead, let’s talk about the people who want to make this Diwali safer! Instead of arguing over the religious repercussions, think about your health, about the consequences of your decisions and your responsibility as a human being. #MyRightToBreathe is a hashtag trending on Instagram and Twitter, where people are showing their support about the issue. Here are a few familiar faces:
My favourite festival is Diwali! It is a time to spread light and happiness. Unfortunately the quality of our air gets very badly affected by crackers and it compels us to make informed choices for the sake of health... Citizens across the country have pledged to celebrate a #crackerfree #Diwali! My love and gratitude to each one of them. #MyRightToBreathe #FestivalOfLight
A very important message from our Chairperson - taking a stand towards "Khushii for Environment" Don't pollute our beautiful nation! Let's all Pledge to celebrate a Cracker Free Diwali! It is our right to breathe! It is our Childrens' right to breathe! And united we shall say: it is #MyRightToBreathe #khushiiNGO #khushiicares #KhushiiForEnvironmment #GoGreen #SayNoToFirecrackers #KapilDev #Crackerfreediwali #Diwali #pataKa #patakas #fireworks #firecracker #firecrackers #CelebratetheEnvironment #Diwali2017 #HappyDiwali #CrackerFree #togetherwecanmakeadifference #unitedwestand #charity #charitystartsathome
We all have a #righttobreathe ! The government has banned the SALE of fire crackers, but we should take it upon ourselves to NOT BURN them, and encourage those around to do the same . Here's to love, light and a HAPPY DIWALI everyone ! 😊 #myrighttobreathe #greendiwali
Don’t burn patakas this Diwali, be one instead!