Call for celebration of pollution free and green Diwali

Around 300 students, teachers from different educational institutions participated in programme

Call for celebration of pollution free and green Diwali

Kapurthala: A webinar on Green Diwali was organized by Science City. Around 300 students, teachers from different educational institutions including general public participated in the programme.

Speaking at this occasion Dr. Neelima Jerath, DG, Science City informed that the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research labs (CSIR-NEERI) has been successful in developing various environment-friendly fireworks such as sound emitting crackers, flowerpots, pencils, chakkar and sparklers. These fireworks, based on new formulations developed by CSIR, are available in the Indian markets for consumers and sellers and are called green crackers. However, due to the Covid situation many States are in the process of banning green crackers also to protect the public from respiratory infections, she added.

Prof. Vinod Kumar Garg from the Department of Environment Sciences, Central University, Bathinda delivered a talk on Green Crackers wherein he said that bursting of crackers during festivals is a common practice in India. A number of chemicals are used to make traditional crackers. These chemicals include copper, cadmium, lead, magnesium, zinc, sodium etc. These chemicals may cause several health issues like irritation, asphyxia, metal fume fever, burns, respiratory problems etc. In addition to this environmental pollution level is increased several folds after the fireworks. He informed that Hon’ble Supreme Court of India had already suggested regulating the polluting aspect of the Cracker industry and to use green crackers during festivals. Further, green crackers produce minimal toxicity and minimal fumes in the atmosphere and can absorb particulate matter and significantly reduce nitrous oxide and sulphur dioxide, which are harmful to health. He said that if green crackers are used for fireworks, pollution would be 30-40% lesser than common crackers as these are made without using banned chemicals such as lithium, arsenic, barium and lead.

Dr. Kinder Pal Banger, Consultant TB & Chest Disease while delivering his talk on “Burning Crackers and Health issues” said that, atmosphere has  already been polluted due to burning of paddy straw and increase in the number of vehicles. The suspended particulate matter (SPM) levels can cause throat, nose and eye-related problems. It can cause headaches and reduced mental acuity when it reaches the level of 100 ppm.The air pollution caused by firecrackers can also aggravate respiratory health problems. He advised parents to always keep a first-aid burns kit ready as well as supervise their kids when playing with burning crackers.

Dr. Rajesh Grover, Director, Science City appealed to the children and their parents to celebrate Diwali with family and friends but not with fire crackers. Further, he urged participants to pledge to go green as nature demands an eco-friendly Diwali. / (Nov 8)