Every year, the festival of Diwali gets further lavish, popular and grandiose. It’s a festival felt by all, the celebrators or not, alike. With diwali comes all its paraphernalia of gifts, crackers, sweets, diyas and cards. Complementing these, also come the passed down presents, anti cracker campaigns, sugar free diets and Chinese lights. Every Diwali is about gaining some and losing some, be it weight or money. So what were the lessons learnt from Diwali this year?
Make in India?
Fairy lights, lasers, scented candles and electric diyas are all gifts from China to India for Diwali. Earthen and clay diyas are struggling to make their presence amidst the bling and impact of Chinese products in the market. With each year the losses incurred by the potters are greater than the previous, hitting a low of selling one diya for less than 1 rupee. While many receive a Diwali bonus, the livelihood of potters solely dependent on the sales of their diyas seems bleak with each passing year.
8 states across India experienced deteriorated quality of air reaching to ‘severe’ levels, a point that not only critically affects asthmatics and people with respiratory disorders but also healthy persons. After repeated campaigns, social media outreach and awareness programs, the city lived up to its mark of being the most polluted and 20 times more on the day of the festival. Not to forget the impact of the firecrackers on the health of pets. Their keen senses make them more perceiving to the noise and fire. There are reports that claim the level of particulate matter in air to be less compared to 2014 Diwali but there is a long way to go in bringing about an apparent difference in both health and air quality.
Recycle, Reuse, Not Reduce
Two out of the three ecological R`s are well followed during Diwali in gift giving. Under that glossy gift-wrapping, you know there is an induction cooker that nobody uses, but that’s all right because its not here to stay. Happiness must be extended and so should all the things you don’t need. It’s not uncommon to see
the heap of gifts lying on the backseat of cars. The Diwali bonanzas and super deals are Indian equivalents of the black Friday sale. It’s the best time to buy a pen drive or a washing machine. With the frenzy of festival, more is less!
It is important that we understand the implications of our actions. Every year it becomes the same story of stress on environment and health, pollution and mindless consumerism. A little conscious effort would go a long way in making Diwali what it truly is.