Television stars have urged their fans to stay away from crackers this Diwali, keeping in mind rising air pollution and global warming, but added that people should spread festive cheer by getting together with family and friends.
"People in India overdo the burning of crackers; they start before Diwali and continue even afterwards. I suggest it should be done only on Diwali day since it causes too much pollution,” said Barkha Bisht, who plays the lead actress in Sahara One's “Doli Saja Ke”.
Barkha's husband, actor Indraneel Sengupta, recalls having burnt his hand while playing with crackers as a schoolboy and since then he stay away from them.
“Have a safe Diwali and especially children, please be careful and have a lovely time,” said Indraneel, who feels that "a family reunion and meeting friends makes Diwali all the more special".
For actor Hussain Kuwajerwala, who is currently hosting talent hunt show "Indian Idol", Diwali celebrations have always meant much more than just crackers.
“I don't burst crackers. I feel people should keep its hazardous outcomes in mind, but at the same time, I feel that everyone has the right to do what they wish. You cannot stop people from anything," Hussain told IANS.
"For me and my family, Diwali celebrations always begin a week prior to the day the festival is celebrated. Friends and family try and take out time so that we can have fun and make the most of the festival and spend time together,” he added.
Hussain's wife Tina, who paired up with the actor for dance reality show “Nach Baliye 2”, likes picking up gifts for their near and dear ones.
“Gifts are Tina's department. Tina really enjoys this part of the festival and in fact these days she is busy picking up gifts for all our loved ones,” the actor said.
Popular actor Aman Verma is also against bursting crackers since they cause pollution and have hazardous effects on people's health.
"People should care about the individuals who are getting disturbed and adversely affected by the sound of crackers. For our enjoyment, we neglect everything. We splurge on crackers only to add to the pollution levels," he said.