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‘Spread light, not noise’ motto lighting up the city of Pune

Children are driving an awareness in the city that the bursting of firecrackers is just not needed. It can, and will, be stopped now

pune Updated: Oct 11, 2017 19:28 IST
Anjali Shetty
Anjali Shetty
Hindustan Times, Pune
Spread light,not noise,motto
Students of Vidya Valley School have been busy making placards with slogans, raising awareness about a clean and noise-free Diwali. (HT PHOTO)

This year, several schools across the city have pledged to not burn firecrackers during Diwali. Ruby Karna, headmistress, St Mira’s Primary School, says, “We have been always emphasising a noise-free and cracker-free Diwali. Every year, we urge students not to buy crackers and explain to them why it is dangerous on individual and societal levels. This year, we made them take an oath during assembly. They have pledged to try and avoid buying of crackers and to ensure a safe Diwali.”

The students of St Mira’s also took up an interesting initiative as they sculpted their own mud diyas for the festival. The idea is to light diyas at a friend’s place instead of burning crackers. Karna adds, “The girls made and painted their own diyas and will be celebrating at friends’ places by lighting them. We aim at promoting the message of ‘spread light, not noise’.

Diwali noise pollution in Pune
As the city moves towards a noise-free and eco-friendly Diwali the fact is sound levels during the festival are simply too high to be healthy
What and how are decibel levels measured?
The decibel (dB) is the unit used to measure the intensity of a sound. Any sound above 85 dB can cause hearing loss, and the loss is related both to the power of the sound as well as the length of exposure.
A decibel meter is used to assess noise or sound levels by measuring sound pressure by using a microphone to capture sound. The sound is then evaluated within the device and acoustic measurement values are displayed.
Cash crop
Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samithi (MANS), as part of its eco-friendly Diwali campaign provides schools with commitment forms for students to fill and pledge money they will not spend on fire-crackers.

Disha Deshmukh, a class 9 student will be using her fire cracker budget to buy books and clothes for the needy. “Burning firecrackers gives you a thrill and happiness for a few hours. However, if I use the same money to buy books for a needy student, I will be making them happy forever.”

Sulabha Deshpande, prinicpal, Ahilyadevi High School, will be distributing certificates to students who pledge to not use fire crackers this year. “We made the students pledge to avoid fire crackers or anything that will pollute the environment this festive season. And, to honour and encourage them further, we will be giving them certificates for the same. ”

Similarly, Indus International School has been focussing on protecting the environment and reaching out to students to pledge the same. Students of Vidya Valley School have been busy making placards with slogans, raising awareness about a clean and noise-free Diwali.

Apart from schools, individuals are also trying their best to promote a noise- and pollution- free Diwali. Satish Pant, assistant professor, National Institute of Agricultural Marketing, started an online page as a preventive step towards protection of the environment.

“It is my personal area of interest. Children, today, are also quite sensitive towards , due to several other initiatives taken by schools and NGOs. We need to ensure they are shown the right path with the right examples.”

First Published: Oct 11, 2017 17:44 IST