This Diwali, social media is flooded with messages, including 'This Diwali burst your ego not crackers', 'Wasteful, harmful and pointless, why burn your money on crackers?' and many such more messages, taking the movement of the safe Diwali to a new level. On the ground, schools are leading initiatives against crackers.
Along with this viral enthusiasm, the city saw a massive participation of students and non-governmental organisations (NGO) coming forward and intensifying awareness campaigns against crackers, which translated into drop in their sales.
Schools in the tricity took various initiatives to aware students about the side-effects of burning crackers. For instance, rangoli-making and poster-making competitions, besides, anti-cracker rallies were organised in several schools during the past seven days.
"Less noise of fireworks clearly indicates the drop in sales of crackers this year, said St John's School principal Kavita Das, whose school took out several rallies against crackers.
She added that there was a time when the sky was filled with smoke and there was noise week before the festival.
"Trend is changing now. Several parents told me that their wards have refused to burst crackers this year. It clearly shows that young generation is more concern about their environment," she said.
"I believe attitude of the children towards the environment is changing and they are more concern about their surroundings," said Parmod Sharma, president of NGO Yuvsatta, which carried the awareness campaign for 10 days both in government as well as private schools.
He added, "Our awareness campaign was not just about noise and air pollution. It also focused on the issue of child labour for production of the crackers and wastage of money. It helped us to convince the children that how they were supporting the wrong cause by bursting crackers."
A Class 7 student from Sector 15 Sid Goyal said, "I am a big fan of green Diwali and also request my friends to avoid burning crackers."
Pooja Nalwa, a Sector 35 resident and mother of two, said, "We have planned to make beautiful rangoli in our home on Diwali and a great family gathering in the evening.
As part of the anti-cracker campaigns, more than 500 students of RIMT World School, Manimajra, decided to open savings bank accounts on Tuesday.
School principal Poonam Katoch said the school had tied up with a leading bank and motivated students and their parents to not buy crackers and instead save the money by depositing it in the newly-opened bank accounts.