I hate phatakas - I only light up phuljhadis & the snake but this year ,I am going to abstain even from this.
There are many reasons- one, is that, I am petrified of hurting my self whilst I am lighting the phatakas.Another, is that, thousands of children work in dingy factories in Sivakasi to produce these firecrackers just to survive.These children have no insurance -no safety devices which will prevent any injuries while they are at work.Children are employed as they are paid meagre wages & have nimble fingers.So as it is with every industry, the main concern here is profit.The adults in Sivakasi are hardly in a condition to go & work as they have been maimed & rendered sick & useless by working in the same industry while they were kids.So they send their kids to work & so the vicious cycle continues unabated.
While ,I studied in law college,I remember watching a film -a documentary by Ananad Patwardhan on child labour.The Sivakasi furnace,the glass bangle furnace ,the carpet weaving industry all these & more employ children.
I know ,you may feel that if we stop buying firecrackers,how will it help these unfortunate kids ?I think,when the demand decreases,maybe production will come down & less kids will get employed. In a few years,maybe the kids would no longer be employed at Sivakasi in this hell of an industry.
The firecrackers cause pollution - noise as well as smoke.Many asthama patients will vouch for this.They find it difficult nah almost impossible to breathe.The decibel levels produced by the phatakas will slowly but surely, cause loss of hearing. Many -adults as also children are injured as they light up the firecrackers.So you see,there are umpteen reasons to give up phatakas.
By this blogpost,I request -plead that let us not buy phatakas ( firecrackers) for a few moments of pleasure .Remember, when you light up phatakas,it is your money going up in smoke ! If you want to spread joy & prosperity this Deepavali,please donate to charity ,your maidservants kids etal.If you don't feel like doing this even,-please at least abstain from lighting phatakas.
If you cannot commit,the minimum to do is omit to light up firecrackers.
Let us make a beginning-the rest will surely follow.