Festivals are alright but not at the cost of environment
By: Zubair Hamid Parray
We live in one of the most exciting countries of the world with diverse cultures thriving here. So many religions are practiced in India and all of them have their unique flavor. This conglomerate of cultures ushers a volley of festivals and fiestas each having its own uniqueness and ways of celebration.
Although festivals are an integral part of our culture and they bring happiness and joy in our lives but sadly they do a lot of harm to our environment also. Every festival is celebrated in a special way and has great significance for one or the other community living here. It is these ways of celebration that cause such great harm to our natural environment. While there are festivals that are nature friendly and do not require to engage in activities that are harmful for the environment, but there are many festivals that directly impact our environment. Every year the amount of pollutants added in the environment keep increasing. There are all aspects of nature that are being affected by festivals.
The Hindu festival of Diwali sees lots and lots of fireworks all around the country. People burn crackers and sky shots all night long and this causes increase in air pollution. The next day is always choked and filled with smog. Fireworks are also seen during many other festivals that they are also the reason for increasing air pollution levels in the country. The air quality of the metropolitan cities is terrible now due to many factors including such festivals. Another reason for air pollution during festivals is the amount of cars on the road. During festivals it is customary to visit relatives and friends and this subsequently increases number of automobiles adding to the already polluted air.
Many festivals require statue immersion and throwing various substances in water bodies to offer prayers. The statues that are immersed in water as an offering to various deities pollute the water and also harm the aquatic life. The use of loudspeakers during festivals is also an issue that causes noise pollution. The frequencies at which the music or speeches are played out are dangerous. There are various processions taken out during festival times that cause a lot of noise pollution.
Besides this, many other festivals require burning of effigies etc and require really huge crowds which subsequently adds to one or the other form of pollution. Festival is the time to rejoice and be happy as these unite us and keep the culture alive but as conscious citizens of the country we must acknowledge the fact that certain practices aren’t really good for the environment and need to be modified to better suit us and the ambience.