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Firecrackers sale at peak, but city opts for 'Green Diwali' (Nov)

The Times of India, Varanasi, 1st November, 2013
Correspondent : Swati Chandra,
VARANASI: The sale of fire-crackers is reaching its peak. Markets are full of 'rockets', multi-coloured sparklers and 'bombs'. Shopkeepers pointed out that families are splurging from Rs 500 to Rs 20,000 on firecrackers.
However, there are people who do not like the momentary joy brought by fire-crackers. Many youngsters, who seem to be aware about their social responsibilities, have chosen to opt for green Diwali.
For BHU student Pintu Kumar, incharge of university Ecological Forum Srishti Sanrakshanam, there are better ways to celebrate Diwali and fire-cracker is definitely not a better option.
"We seem to be forgetting the charm and meaning of earthen lamps and diyas. Through our forum, we would promote the use of earthen diyas. Our volunteers would visit each and every faculty and hostel to see to it that fire-crackers are not burnt in abundance in the university and also in residential areas. One should understand that the crackers are harmful for environment and also damage health," he said.
Another student Monika Patel said: "The smell of diyas and candles is much better than the suffocating smell of firecrackers. I had not burnt a single firecrackers in the past 10 years. I would spread the same message."
A housewife at Pandeypur area had planned to say no to firecrackers. "Several elderly people and infants live in my colony. They are at high risk of the ill-effects of crackers. I have circulated an appeal last week involving children. These children went door-to-door and asked people to control firecrackers," she informed.
An entrepreneur said: "This year while preparing the budget and list of Diwali gift items for my employees, I made it a point to replace firecrackers with attractive lights, candles and diyas. I was surprised to see that while a good bunch of gift was ready, I spent lesser money as compared earlier."
One of the most preferred way by youngsters and gadget lovers is smart phone application. "One can send greetings and messages to friends and relatives in a simpler and easier manner through. Moreover, there are applications offer games in which one can burst virtual fire crackers. Obviously, a fire cracker lover or a freak will not like these games and applications as a substitute for the original crackers, but one can send these to people and spread the message of green Diwali," said Alok, student at BHU.