The city is in celebration mode as Diwali greetings fall on us like confetti. Yet, like all celebratory occasions, all the revelry must be tempered with responsibility. For some time now there have been 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 with crackers are allowed to burst crackers only in those stipulated zones at certain times, and on designated days.
This would be a step not in curbing fun and freedom but simply ensuring a safer Diwali. Several times, Diwali revelers throw crackers directly on to the path of vehicles or even those simply walking on the road. Their intention is not to harm drivers, commuters or pedestrians but unfortunately, accidents can occur as we have seen.
Pedestrians have to look sharp, while the crackers go off often literally at their feet. Most of the time they are fortunate, but they may some times have dire consequences. People need to tell their children about being safe with crackers. Maybe firecracker manufacturers can print safety instructions and caution notices in big, bold lettering on their products. It may not automatically ensure an accident free festival, but it could help in some small measure.
Celebrities who are seen on television, wishing viewers ‘a very happy Diwali’ could be roped in too, to spread the safe celebration message. Every little bit counts when it comes to ensuring that smiles, laughter and happiness is not turned into tragedy. This Diwali let us ensure less noise and air pollution, no irresponsible bursting of crackers and realise that when it comes to life and limb, you need to handle with care.