Nagpur youngsters go an extra mile to create awareness to forgo crackers on Diwali

Juhi Sethi and Radhika Dhawad | Oct 29, 2016 18:02

As the city gears up for Diwali celebrations, two Nagpur based NGOs – Green Vigil Foundation and Constructivity Foundation – have come up with various awareness campaigns that aim to educate people to celebrate a cracker-free Diwali to ensure minimum pollution.

cracker-free Diwali
Members of Green Vigil Foundation at Shankar Nagar, Nagpur (Photo by: Darshan Bagwe)

Kaustav Chatterjee, founder of Green Vigil Foundation, along with his team members at Shankar Nagar square, Nagpur  held placards that read, “Patakho ka dhua meri saas rokta hai” (the fireworks’ pollution stops my breath).  The youngsters showed their sensitive side by bringing forward the plight of animals. They held a placard that read, “Thousands of birds, dogs and animals die due to shock and fear during Diwali.”   “This Diwali, burst your ego, not crackers,” appealed the young NGO members. Kaustav said, “It’s a two day campaign (from 26 October to 29 October), where we’ll urge people, in few busy areas of the city, for spreading awareness of an eco-friendly Diwali. Diwali is the festival of celebrations, where everybody loves to burn crackers. We must try to make this Diwali an eco-friendly festival, where we don’t harm animals by the noise of the crackers and also control pollution. Just for the sake of our happiness, we should not do something, which creates a lot of health issues for people and animals around us. Some firecrackers have sound as high as 1.25 decibels, which can cause serious damage to people and animals. While we have people who don’t believe in this initiative, we also have many passers-by showing us thumbs up for the same! It doesn’t matter what people think about us but somewhere we know at least few people are getting aware to keep our city a green city!”

Shubham Jejani, President at Constructivity Foundation, too initiated a similar campaign with his 150 odd team members on social media. They are urging people to observe a cracker-free Diwali with messages like “Don’t be mean, go green.”  When Nation Next asked him about his initiative, Shubham said, “We are just trying to make the youngsters aware of the repercussions of polluting our environment. Everybody’s educated; everybody knows that bursting crackers is going to lead to several environmental issues. Also, it harms animals. We can’t avoid vehicles, (which cause pollution) but we can certainly avoid burning crackers. Though we came across a guy on Facebook, who expressed his displeasure over our initiative by saying that people these days can’t even celebrate festivities peacefully, we still got a huge support from everybody.” Shubham, who has been spearheading this initiative since four years now, says, “ Also, we should be sensitive towards animals. I own a dog so I know how petrified they get!”

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