Experienced content writer, Shafqat M. writes on travel, technology, environment, and digital marketing.
You might wonder what is all this got to do with Diwali 2020: Bursting Crackers, Air Pollution and COVID-19. They all seem distant and uniquely positioned and seem to have no bearings, whatsoever, on one another. But that's not true!
On the occasion of Diwali, just like on any other festivals and New Year's Eve, burning of fireworks remains a constant. Its smoke causes so severe air pollution in India that PM 2.5 touches dangerous levels post-Diwali.
Diwali in 2020 is Going to be Different
Diwali in 2020 is different because of the coronavirus situation. We're still very much mired in the COVID-19 pandemic. Clean and breathable air has never been as important as it's today, especially for Delhiites. The contagious coronavirus severely affects (and damages) human lungs rendering breathing very difficult.
Our lungs can't take it, with coronavirus on the side and polluted air on another. It becomes the collective responsibility of all those celebrating the festival of Diwali or Deepavali on 14 November 2020 to completely avoid, and if that's not possible, at least limit burning of crackers and fireworks.
Diwali 2020 Date in India Calendar
Diwali 2020 Date is Saturday, 14 November in India Calendar. So if you were wondering or meaning to search Diwali 2020 Kab Hai (when is Diwali 2020), know that it's on 14 November 2020 and the day is Saturday.
Diwali 2020 in Delhi
Delhi is prone to severe air pollution and is currently reeling under the third wave of coronavirus or COVID-19. Diwali 2020 in Delhi dredges up horrors of last year's Diwali when in its aftermath Air Quality Index (AQI) had crossed 600-mark. From the safe limit, 12 times over.
Here's the breakdown of AQI for last four year's Diwali in Delhi:
Diwali means crackers and fireworks would rock India's night sky. And next morning India will welcome heavy smog with PM 2.5 soaring.
Here are different categories of AQI based on the range of AQI values:
So, how's this Diwali going to be different from previous others depends on people and how they celebrate this festival of lights. A sure shot is to refrain from bursting firecrackers if you want air quality not to dip below dangerous levels.
Supreme Court of India Orders Against Polluting Firecrackers
Taking cognizance of the severity of the situation in the aftermath of Diwali every year, the highest court in India, Supreme Court of India, passed a judgement in 2018 banning the use of polluting firecrackers.
In its judgement, the court however permitted to use green firecrackers. These firecrackers are believed to cause 30% less pollution as compared to normal firecrackers.
Here's How you Can Celebrate a Green & Eco-Friendly Diwali in 2020
From the above statistics, you may have already understood how serious an issue bursting of firecrackers is and how seriously should we take health and wellbeing of our environment, particularly during COVID-19 pandemic.
To help you celebrate Diwali 2020 in a green and eco-friendly manner, we have curated a list of 10 best ways to do so.
10 Ways to Celebrate Eco-Friendly and Pollution-Free Diwali 2020
Avoid Crackers - First and foremost, don't burst firecrackers. If the air quality dips too low, this time it's going to have a severe impact. We're battling COVID-19 pandemic.
The coronavirus damages lungs and if we don't have clean air to breathe, this will surely aggravate the effects of coronavirus and worsen the severity of the pandemic.
- Light up Diyas - Lighting up diyas (using earthen lamps is recommended) has a twofold benefit. One, it helps artisans who are mostly poor earn a living. Second, it's eco-friendly.
- Organic Colours - Make sure that you use only organic colours to paint beautiful and intricately designed rangolis.
- Family Get Together - The best way to celebrate any festival is for family and friends to assemble and have a get-together. This Diwali invites your friends and distance relatives over tea or lunch or whatever your budget.
- Be Generous - Diwali is the festival of lights, so be that light and spread light. Be generous with your time, money and everything else you own. Give clothes and money to the needy. We're living through tough times and it'll be a nice gesture to be generous.
- Avoid Use of Plastics - Try as much as possible not to use plastic bags for packaging purposes. Use paper bags instead to wrap around the gift, food and other items.
- Use Organic Incense Sticks - To freshen up the room, use flowers, organic Incense sticks. Avoid using synthetic room fresheners at all costs.
- Help an NGO - Join hands with an NGO helping poor and downtrodden in your locality and spend your day with them, participating in their activities.
- Prepare Home-Made Sweets - Home-made sweets are fresh, healthy and made from organic ingredients and aren't prepared using artificial colours (most market-based sweets are).
- Use Flowers to Decorate your House - People opt for festive lights to embellish their homes but you should not fall for the show. Use flowers such as marigold, jasmine, rose, etc. for decoration purposes.
Diwali Messages to Send to Friends & Family
Diwali is the occasion when we send wishes, messages, and greetings to our friends and family. What messages we send on this Diwali 2020 depends on us. We can send some random quotes and wishes we see on the internet and share with friends.
But for maximum impact, you should send Diwali messages that have a purpose, make sense and are relevant to the situation we're mired in presently. Your Diwali messages should inspire action. In other words, you should send green and eco-friendly Diwali messages.
Ones that urge people around you not to burn fireworks. Ones that explain how critical and crucial clean air is for our health during COVID-19 pandemic. So, make sure to sends Diwali messages that have the environment as the subject.
A Curious Case of Firecrackers & Festivals
Whether it's Diwali or New Year's Eve, everywhere on festivals we burst tons of firecrackers. As if it's the only way to celebrate a festival. What we forget, or rather tend to sweep under the carpet is that the earth's atmosphere cannot withstand the polluting firecrackers.
Our air, which makes life possible lies in shambles. In India, it's polluted to the brim. More than a mass of gaseous mixture, it's a cocktail of particulate matter, greenhouse gases and a dead mass of other pollutants.
Irrespective of daily quality check of air, and subsequent sharing of data with people, we hardly take it seriously and continue to use firecrackers. Somewhere down the line, perhaps we firmly believe that fireworks matter more than the condition of our environment. As if we could outlive the mess created by polluting firecrackers anyway!
Why Fireworks are so Dangerous than you should Think Thousand Times before Bursting One?
Festivals are occasions for families, friends, and neighbours to unite. It never was bursting of firecrackers only. Fireworks release particulate matter into the atmosphere. Ultimately, one way or the other, this particulate matter finds its way into our lungs and damage it from within.
Right after the Diwali celebrations in Delhi, the quality of air degraded that it recorded 574 on Air Quality Index, which falls in the category of Severe-Plus Emergency (see AQI table above). Like a volcano that erupts and engulfs everything coming its way, post-Diwali pollution in Delhi engulfs the entire city in thick smog.
Diwali 2020: States & UTs in India which have Ordered a Complete Ban on Sale & Bursting of Firecrackers on National Green Tribunal (NGT) Directive
To stop air quality from deteriorating and thwart risks posed to COVID patients, NGT-imposed Diwali Crackers Ban on sale and bursting of firecrackers will be observed in the following States and Union Territories of India.
Here's a complete list of States and UTs which have ordered a ban on use and sale of firecrackers this Diwali 2020:
- Delhi and NCR
- West Bengal
The states where the air quality fell in the category, moderate, NGT Bench, headed by Adarsh Kumar Goel, who's also the Chairperson of NGT, only green firecrackers would be allowed to be sold.
However, there's a catch! The bursting of crackers would be allowed for two hours only.
NGT responds to states' requests for permission to use green crackers:
The request is justified where air quality is moderate and below but not where air quality is poor and above which may result in deaths and diseases which has to be avoided even if there is financial loss.
Amazon, Flipkart Diwali 2020 Special Sales: Best Offers on Mobile Phones Ends 13 November
E-commerce giants, Amazon and Flipkart Diwali 2020 Special Sales ends soon. You still have time left to avail of Flipkart's Big Diwali sale and Amazon's Great Indian Festival sale and earn great discounts on smartphones across price ranges.
So, if you're planning to give a new phone as a Diwali gift to someone this is the time to do it while Diwali 2020 sale is on.
Here are some of the best Flipkart and Amazon Diwali special sales available on mobile phones.
Flipkart Diwali Sale
|Mobile||Diwali Sale Price||MRP|
Samsung Galaxy S20+
Samsung Galaxy Note 10+
Amazon Great Indian Festival: Best Mobile Phone Offers
|Mobile||Amazon Sale Price||MRP|
Samsung Galaxy M51
Redmi Note 9 Pro
Call to Action
Firecrackers won`t do anyone any good. The sooner we learn it, the better it would be for our future. Any negligence now would mean the collapse of our environment. And there's no other planet discovered yet to accommodate us!
Therefore, it's the responsibility of every citizen to see to it that no bursting of firecrackers takes place as India celebrates Diwali 2020.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Shafqat M