School students have long refrained from bursting crackers on Diwali, and this year is no different. Teachers, students and the administration have once again joined hands to ensure that this year the festival of lights is safe and peaceful for all citizens.
“The focus is on celebrating the festival and not on sound. Schoolchildren go to the nearby slums and distribute sweets as well as ration. This is a more egalitarian way to celebrate the day,” said Ameeta Wattal, principal, Springdales School, Pusa Road.
Assembly talks about why bursting crackers is a bad idea and alternate ways to celebrate one of the most-awaited festivals is something that school authorities are looking into.
“Diwali with a difference has been the agenda of various schools for a long time. We have been associated with the ‘Say no to Crackers Campaign’ for the past 15 years now. Children have started taking the lead in spreading the message,” Wattal added.
“Children are their own guardians. The responsibility to ensure that everyone has a safe Diwali is on the students. Peer discussions and assemblies are held by children where they discuss issues,” said Lata Vaidyanathan, principal, Modern School, Barakhamba Road.
However, some also accept the fact that children will be children and may be tempted to burst crackers. “We tell students that is they feel like celebrating Diwali with firecrackers, they all should get together and do the same,” Komal Sood, principal, The Shri Ram School said.
“We also try to educate them about how fireworks are produced and the involvement of child labourers. The message about other children getting affected is something that affects the students more than air pollution or safety,” added Sood.