SUBJECT :Green Diwali 

 The Chandigarh Pollution Control Committee and NGO Yuvsatta launched “Go Green Diwali Campaign” in Government Model High School, Sector 34-C, and Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 33-D, today.

Chanchal Singh, Deputy Director, School Education, was the chief guest on the occasion at Government Model High School, Sector 34-C. 

Addressing the students, Chanchal Singh said, “For fireworks to shoot up into the air and explode, several pyrotechnic chemicals (materials capable of undergoing exothermic reactions for the production of heat, light, gas, smoke and/or sound) are used.”

He exhorted them to say no to firecrackers, not individually but at collectively organised functions. He also cautioned the young ones to take all precautions like wearing cotton clothes and using fireworks in the presence of elders in open spaces and keeping a bucket of water handy for any emergency.   

Lauding eco-clubs of schools in Chandigarh, Santosh Kumar, vice-chairman, Chandigarh Pollution Control Committee, and Director, Department of Environment, said at times during Diwali days, the pollution level “goes up 10 to 15 times the permissible limits and it is the responsibility of each one of us not only to take all precautionary steps of protection but also to ensure celebrations of green Diwali with home-made sweets, gifting green plants and saying no to polluting and toxic harmful crackers”. He said more and more people were seeing bursting of firecrackers as a health hazard and environmentally irresponsible form of entertainment.

 “We are not against the traditional way of celebrating Diwali in which the homes are decorated with lamps and people have fun with sparklers and less-polluting firecrackers,” said Pramod Sharma, coordinator of Yuvsatta. 

Dr Vinod Sharma, Headmaster, Government Model High School, Sector 34-C, motivated his school students to plant, gift and adopt green trees on the sacred occasion of Diwali instead of any other costly gifts or sweets for their friends and relatives. 

Indira Beniwal, Principal, Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 33-D, exhorted her students to observe a green Diwali. 

The programme ended with a pledge by over 2,500 students of both schools to observe a green Diwali and stay away from crackers. 

To involve and motivate young students to participate wholeheartedly in the initiative, theatre artistes of Mask Theatre presented a street play, “Diwali-Diwali” at both schools.

Source: The Tribune, Chandigarh