The city is in celebration mode as Diwali is upon us. One must remember, though, that all celebrations and revelry must be tempered with responsibility. Every time Diwali comes around, there are suggestions that it is time for the government to start thinking about designating certain spots in the city as ‘firecracker zones’. This means that people celebrating the festival by bursting crackers are allowed to do so only in those zones.
This would be a step that would not curb the fun of the festival but simply ensure a safer Diwali. Yet, it is a debatable issue for the future. Right now, the focus should be on safe celebrations. Several times, Diwali revellers fling crackers directly onto the path of vehicles or even those who are walking on the road. Their intention is not to harm the commuter or pedestrian, but accidents can occur and they have done so in the past.
Pedestrians have to stay alert while the crackers go off, often literally at their feet. Most times they are fortunate, but, some pedestrians have been hurt in such incidents. At times, rockets have flown into a home through an open window or door. This happens especially when they are not made to face an open area before being lit.
People need to tell their children about being safe with crackers during Diwali and there has to be more awareness about this. Maybe firecracker manufacturers can print safety instructions and caution notices on their products. It may not automatically ensure an accident free-festival, but it could help in some small measure.
Celebrities, who are seen wishing viewers ‘a very happy Diwali’ on television could also be roped in to spread the safe celebration message.
It is heartening to note that there is a move towards environmental awareness this Diwali with the emphasis being on crackers that produce more lights and less noise. One must enjoy and mark these days of joy in different ways, but always remember that safety comes above all. In that, there is celebration.