The public appeal to the people of Goa by Power Minister Sudin Dhavalikar to do away with burning effigies of ‘Narkasurs’is a very sensible one.  We need to find a better way to celebrate the victory of good over evil by shunning this practice of fireworks.

Environmental and noise pollution should be a matter of concern to all. The Government needs to totally ban all fireworks in the best interests of protecting the wellbeing of the population from air and noise pollution. Fireworks cause serious air pollution, produces a lot of garbage besides noise, and is a huge disturbance especially for children, the elderly as well as animals. It causes distress, especially as fireworks can sound like gunfire and can aggravate a nervous condition. Firecrackers are in fact a waste of money. Safeguarding our health and protecting the lives of others should be our priority.

The adverse effects of fireworks on people, animals and property must not be underestimated. They contain chemical components like saltpetre, carbon and sulphur. When these are ignited hazardous oxides of gases are emitted which causes suffocation, reduces visibility, resulting in other health hazards. Medical experts state that the air gets contaminated with toxic gases and remains for days.  The toxic elements that reach the lungs, cannot be removed thereafter and can cause grave health issues. It causes long-term effects on children. They frighten children and adults, cause fires and terrify pets and wildlife.

The sparkles from fireworks may last a few seconds but the hazardous toxic air pollution can linger in our environment, towns and cities for many hours. Such short-lived entertainment does not justify the immediate and long term damage to our health, wealth and environment.

And last, but not of least consequence, any celebration with war like artifices (firecrackers sounding like gun shots, loud sounds like bomb explosions, etc) often ends up as a boost to the violent streak of the mind of some elements. Is that befitting the spirit of a tranquil joyous Diwali or any other festive celebration?

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