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Green Diwali
When you think about Diwali, the picture that directly comes to your mind is lights, decorations and fireworks. Although the tradition of firework is not old but it is now a vital part of Diwali celebration and thus be it kids, youngsters or adults everyone enjoys the fireworks. Thus, today Diwali without fireworks is unimaginable. There is a belief that lighting firecrackers is a symbol of prosperity, good health and fun. But this happiness is paid by the children who have their involvement in making of these firecrackers. In addition to it these crackers have also been a major source of pollution.
After reading this article think once again, does it make sense to burn thousands of rupees in firecrackers and create air and noise pollution by that? Could we rather put the money to better usage??
Hazardous Sivakasi- The land of firecrackers
Indian Explosive Act was enacted in 1940 and first explosive factory was established in 1940
Fireworks industry in India is estimated to be INR30bn to 40bn
It employs about four lacs people
Margins are very high (40% to 50%) in the industry
Sivaksi, a town in Tamilnadu is responsible for producing 90% of fireworks in India
The industry employs quite a few children 14 year of age; hence, it’s a serious source of child labour
The Fire Crackers Industry in India
Sivakasi is a town in Tamil Nadu, about 545 Km from Chennai, is the capital of India’s firecracker industry producing approx 90% of the total firework output. There are almost 400 manufacturers based in this city. The fire industry market grows upto to the rate of 10% every year and their total output is 50,000 tons. The state government itself collects aggregate 40 million rupees sales tax. But this industry is not organized as every year various accidents and deaths take place and the town has been reported to employ child labour in the production of fireworks. Inspite of all such risks Sivakasi has only one major hospital not suitable to treat the burn victims. Many accidents take place in this area and there are no safety precautions taken. The victims have to be taken to the government hospital at Madurai, which is 60-70 kms away which often miss the crucial lives of the patients.

In 1940, when the Indian Explosives Rules were enacted and licensing introduced for the production of fireworks, the first organised factory for crackers was established in Sivakasi. Today, the industry is estimated to be around Rs 3,000 to 4,000 crore and employs about four lakh people directly and indirectly.
Child Labour
Despite of the government rules Sivakasi still has employed children below the age of 14 to work with their nimble hands to produce firecrackers and are also paid low.
Education is nowhere provided and children working in this industry and forced to work in hazardous conditions affecting their health from time to time.
Thus most of the crackers that you burst today have the involvement of children in some or the other way.
Child labour is on an increase in other industries too but the exploitation of kids to make firecrackers is not acceptable as it is dangerous and risky too.
Diwali Pollution
There are ill effects of Diwali; crackers are affecting all of us. It causes both air pollution and noise pollution.
Apart from the noise, firecrackers release toxic gases which lead to many health problems like lung cancer, cardiovascular diseases and allergies.
Experts also say that the crackers include elements like copper, cadmium, sulphur, aluminium, barium and a variety of other rudiments that release energetic colours after it is ignited
The heavy metals remain in the atmosphere for long and then get corroded before entering the food chain through vegetables.
Chandigarh Pollution Control Committee studied in 2012 that there was 6-10% increase in air pollution during Diwali.
What we can do?
We at Gayatri Mantra Trust urge you to do following:
Diwali is a celebration that is made to commemorate return of LordShri Ram from 14 years of exile (Vanvaas), it was celebrated originally by lighting deepaks (not by bursting firecrackers). We urge you to light as many deepaks and candles as you can and light them to support a good cause this year.

Furthermore, donate at least same amount of money (as you’d spend on firecrackers) to some good cause of your choice; it may be anything: child welfare, woman welfare, older people welfare, environment protection, animal welfare… but, do put your money to do some good as much as it’s being put to cause harm to nature by the firecrackers.
Donate to our Green Diwali Initiative…
By burning lesser firecracker this year you’d also contribute to “Swachh Bharat” Abhiyan
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