Assam's Green Oscar awardee campaigns for a sustainable Deepawali celebration

GUWAHATI, Oct 25: Yesterday, the country celebrated the festival of lights, Diwali. Crucially linked to Indian mythology and history this festival has a significant influence among the people of the country.

However, due to the widespread use of different types of firecrackers burnt to mark the occasion has quite an impact on the environment creating air and sound pollution which have a devastating effect on human health, wild animals and our environment.

Environmentalists have always shown their concerns over the use of firecrackers - whether during the Diwali or any other occasion, firecrackers always add negative effects on the environment, animals as well as on the health of people.

Assam’s Green Oscar awardee and environmental conservation organisation Aaranyak’s senior wildlife biologist Dr Purnima Devi Barman and the women-led environmental group, the Hargila Army campaigned across Kamrup district of Assam urging people to observe a sustainable Deepawali. The team has organised various outreach activities such as street plays, public announcements, and poster presentations, on October 23 and 24 with the aim to reduce the usage of firecrackers and promote a sustainable celebration.

“Diwali is a festival of light. We should come forward to celebrate this holy festival by lighting Diyas and lights. Let us all come forward to drop the usage of firecrackers and make this celebration a sustainable one by keeping in mind the health of environment and our people,” Purnima, the Nari Shakti Puraskar awardee, said during a public announcement yesterday at Kamrup.

Kamrup’s Dadara and Pachariya hold breeding colonies of endangered Greater Adjutant Storks (locally known as Hargila). Dr Barman, who founded the Hargila Army, and head of Aaranyak's Greater Adjutant Conservation Programme, has formed a troop of hundreds of women voicing and acting for the conservation of Hargila. This effort of promoting a sustainable Diwali is also a part of the conservation efforts.

“In Kamrup, The Hargila Army and Aaranyak’s Greater Adjutant Conservation Programme team conducted a series of awareness campaigns encouraging people to celebrate this Diwali sustainably.”

The government is also encouraging people to adopt sustainable way of celebrations by implementing various regulations for the betterment of people and the environment.