New Delhi: The Directorate of Education (DoE) has asked Delhi schools to educate students on the ill effects of bursting firecrackers and need to celebrate a pollution free Diwali. Keeping in mind the pollution caused by crackers on Diwali, the DoE on Tuesday issued a circular to all Delhi schools to encourage students to not only say to no firecrackers, but celebrate green Diwali in literal sense.
The festive season of Diwali is marked by heavy use of firecrackers which release toxic pollutants like sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide and many others which pollute the air and cause serious ailments like asthma, bronchitis, hypertension and cardiovascular problems, reads the circular issued by Additional Director (Education) Saroj Sain.
While some schools like DAV have already planned awareness activities and programmes, some are yet to come up with a plan to kick start the fight against pollution. Talking about the circular, Ram Kumar Singh Mann, Vice Principal of Babu Ram Rajkiya Sarvodaya Bal Vidyala in Shahdara says,
DoE sends out circular every year and this year too we have received it. Like every year, we will be educating and asking students to not burst crackers because of obvious health hazards. The awareness activities will not be restricted to bursting of crackers, but also celebrating the festival in an eco-friendly manner like ditching plastic, lighting earthen lamps.
DAV Public School in Pushpanjali Enclave has been taking out anti-cracker rally and organising competitions and massive awareness activities to senstise students from past four years plan to walk on the same path this year as well. The school has different activities planned for all the three sections – primary, middle and senior. Giving details on the plan, Alka Dhamija, school’s Supervisory Head, says,
While the students of standard 2 to 5 take out anti-cracker rally in nearby societies, middle section that is students of class 6 to 8 spread awareness through plays. For seniors, we organise debates on topics like, ‘Who is responsible for the rise in the levels of air pollution’, ‘What should government do to stop the use of firecrackers’, ‘Should government ban the production of firecrackers instead of prohibiting the use of crackers’, so on and so forth.
Apart from all this, students are motivated to make posters and spread awareness among their own circle. Senior students form ‘peer group’ and reach out to locals in their neighbourhood, asking them to not make the air pollution crisis worse.
Throwback To Diwali 2017
Last year on Diwali, less firecrackers were burnt as, but the air quality turned severe for the first time in 2017, a day after Diwali. According to SAFAR project director Gufran Beig, the reason behind this is that despite reduction in usage of crackers, incredible amount of fireworks still happened on Diwali night, causing trapping of smoke in the air and a rapid build-up of pollutants. On October 20, SAFAR recorded PM 2.5, an ultrafine particulate matter measuring less than 20 times the width of a human hair was at 407 micrograms per cubic metre (ug/m3) while the 24-hour safe standard is 60 (ug/m3).
This year, the Supreme Court on Tuesday (October 23) restricted the sale and use of firecrackers across India and put a cap of only two hour window (8PM TO 10PM) when crackers can be burst on Diwali.
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swachh India campaign lends support to the Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). Helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan, the campaign aims to spread awareness about hygiene and sanitation, the importance of building toilets and making India open defecation free (ODF) by October 2019, a target set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when he launched Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2014. Over the years, the campaign has widened its scope to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and menstrual hygiene. The campaign has also focused extensively on marine pollution, clean Ganga Project and rejuvenation of Yamuna, two of India’s major river bodies.