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For this Rajasthan village, green Diwali means shunning firecrackers, planting trees

The villagers of 12 TK in Raisinghnagar are also planting trees and screening films on environment

jaipur Updated: Oct 17, 2017 21:41 IST
Salik Ahmad
Salik Ahmad
Hindustan Times
Diwali 2017,Happy Diwali,Diwali images
The villagers of 12 TK in Raisinghnagar will plant trees to celebrate green Diwali.(HT PHOTO)

A village in Sriganganagar district of Rajasthan has decided to shun firecrackers and observe a green Diwali this year. The villagers of 12 TK in Raisinghnagar are also planting trees and screening films on environment.

“This village has had plantation drives in the past and most people are sensitive towards environment. The final push that was needed was given by Jyani ji (full name Shyam Sunder Jyani),” says Richa Sharma, a panch of the village, who is also the up-sarpanch of the gram panchayat under which the village comes.

Jyani, a native of 12 TK and sociology teacher at the government college in Bikaner, has led sustained plantation campaigns in the region that have led to lakhs of trees taking root.

It is believed, Jyani says, anything bought on Dhanteras increases in worth and brings prosperity to the buyer. “So why not plant trees on the occasion! For each person in the village, we are planting two trees, one of Jamun and the other of Khejri,” he says.

Sharma and Jyani, along with some other people, went around the village on Monday persuading residents to give up the traditional way of celebrating Diwali. “While most were easily convinced, some proved to be tough nuts to crack. They would say that Diwali is synonymous with firecrackers,” Sharma says.

“Some would say, ‘Jab tak patakhey nahin jalayenge, lagega hi nahin ke Diwali hai. Hum maan bhi jayein to bachche nahin maanenge,’ (Unless we burst crackers, we won’t feel it’s Diwali. Even if we relent, the kids won’t.)”

A solution for the same has also been devised. The kids have been lured by the option of getting to watch films in the village and they have agreed. On Diwali evening, three videos – short film Carbon, History of the World in Two Hours, and a half-hour talk by Al Gore, the former US presidential candidate, on climate change – will be screened in the village with the help of a projector. The videos have been dubbed in Hindi.

In addition, women will carry out the planting of trees. “We want to sensitise families about trees. If we keep the women at forefront, the kids in the families will be easily sensitised and the coming generation will share a great bond with trees,” says Jyani.

Atma Singh, a resident of the village, says the villagers would anyway light diyas (lamps) and with the unique style of celebration, Diwali would be more exciting.

According to the Census 2011, 12 TK had a population of 624 and a literacy rate of 70%.

First Published: Oct 17, 2017 21:13 IST