SC verdict on firecrackers evokes mixed response

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 26 Oct 2018 09:50:17


By Hannah Shariq,

THE Supreme Court’s (SC) refusal to impose a complete ban on sale of firecrackers ahead of Diwali and conditionally allowing sale of fireworks has evoked a mixed response from city. The decision is definitely going to affect people from all walks of life -- be it the youngsters, the elders or the traders. However, the reactions from Nagpurians to the verdict shows their maturity and responsibility towards nature.

Welcoming the verdict, Dr Vinod Naidu, a retired school teacher and a home tutor, said, “Over the years bursting of crackers has gradually gone down. When I was young, we used to start fireworks from ‘Dhanteras’ till ‘Bhai Dooj’ but now it is limited mostly to ‘Laxmi Pujan’. I am hopeful that Nagpurians will abide by the SC verdict,” The 70-year-old has something very interesting to share. “I keep myself busy with home tuition. I have 10 students – all between the age group of 5 and 19. Out of these 10, two are my domestic help’s kids. When I was telling them about the Supreme Court verdict trying to create awareness, I was shocked when my pupils from good financial background and also my domestic help’s children shared identical views.

“Some of them were scared of sound of crackers, some did not like the smell and others considered crackers very dangerous. My domestic help’s son recalled how his two-week-old sibling was killed due to severe burn injuries when a rocket entered into their hut last year,” Dr Naidu said. He felt that with changing times people, too, are becoming more aware about noise and air pollution.

The verdict has created a huge buzz among firecracker traders. Some thanked the court while others are miffed with the ruling. “I own a small daily needs shop in Chhaoni area but during Diwali I only sell crackers. Last year in Delhi the Supreme Court had temporarily banned sale of firecrackers ahead of Diwali. Thankfully, this year we are allowed to sell green crackers which are within permitted decibel limits. Something is always better than nothing,” reacted Hemant Giradkar, a shopkeeper.

However, another trader Amit Sahu, who comes all the way from Uttar Pradesh to sell crackers in Nagpur, felt that crackers were not the only reason for increase in air pollution.

“There are other factors, like wind and temperature, which contribute to it. We (firecracker manufacturers and traders) cannot be deprived of our right to do business based on statements not supported by facts,” he argued. Who better than a person residing in Delhi to talk about air pollution during Diwali. Rida Hamid, a resident of Nagpur who is currently working in the national capital, wishes to see a healthy Nagpur.

“Diwali has always been my favourite festival for the colourful ‘rangoli’ I made for my neighbours and for loud and sparkling crackers. This is my sixth year in Delhi and I have been witnessing the deteriorating air quality here. The morning after Diwali is full of thick and dangerous haze and it takes heavy toll on people’s health. It’s high time Nagpurians took a lesson from Delhi and realised that Diwali is a festival of lights and not sound,” the Qualitative Researcher said.