Around the festival of lights, fire safety is blown away in the public enthusiasm to burst crackers. Neither children nor parents take any lesson from the Diwali-season accidents each year.
In Amritsar, no one's keeping children away from firecrackers. "They play with crackers on busy roads and near parked automobiles," said Chulbul Pandey, a watchman at Rani Ka Bagh. His relative, labourer Vijay Kumar, who stays with him, has seen worse. "They have made it a habit to throw bangers on the road to scare people," he said. "What if it causes a horrendous accident?"
Navraj Dhillon, arts student of a local school, rues why we have to wait for a tragedy to learn to take precaution. "If parents want, they can keep their children in control. They can keep a watch on them for their safety," he said, adding: "On each Diwali, many horrific burn injuries happen because of the crackers, so why not prevent those? The city doctors, teachers, writers and social activists agree that we should.
Minimising the use of crackers will reduce noise and air pollution and cause less disturbance to patients, senior citizens, and animals and birds. Principals of various schools here have together to discourage children from bursting crackers by educating them about the hazards. They are doing it in the morning assemblies and in classrooms.
"We also educate them in the environment and health and-awareness clubs on the campus," said Rajeev Sharma, principal of Springdale Senior School in Amritsar. Teachers are trying to inspire the children to say no to crackers and celebrate this Diwali with lights and sweets. Now, it is for parents to take it seriously.
District fire officer Krishan Kumar Kakkar confirmed that the reports of burn injuries increased in the city around Diwali because of the absence of safety while playing with firecrackers.
We have six brigades to deal with fire emergencies. These days, we are more active, as burn injuries increase in the city around Diwali because of firecrackers