Say ‘No to Crackers’ and ‘Yes to life’!
Crackers are a source of highly toxic chemical air pollutants. Besides air pollution there are other ethical reasons for not using crackers. Thousands of children are employed in the manufacture of crackers. This violates the rights of the children – they should be in school, not exposing themselves to severe health hazards while making crackers.
Additionally, air pollution and smog is extremely common at night and on the morning after Deepavali, and may be harmful to inhale and causes difficulty for drivers through reduced visibility.
Deepavali is often be treated by some as an opportunity to show off their status or purchasing power. This competitive approach encourages the use of ever larger and noisier fireworks.
Efforts to combat the menace include
The Supreme Court of India, observing that the "right to peaceful sleep is a fundamental right of the citizens", has banned crackers between the hours of 10 pm and 6 am during the Dasara and Diwali festival
The Central Pollution Control Board has banned fire-crackers with a decibel level of more than 125 at a distance of 4 meters from the bursting point.
Fire Crackers Affect our Health
Sudden exposure to loud noise could cause temporary deafness or permanent relative deafness
Noise pollution may lead to:
High blood pressure
Crackers that make a noise of more than 125 decibels upto a distance of 4 mtrs are banned by the law.
Harmful effects of chemicals used in crackers
Copper: Irritation of respiratory tract
Cadmium: Anaemia and damage to kidney
Lead: Affects the nervous system
Magnesium: Dust and fumes cause metal fume fever
Manganese: Emotional disturbances, spastic gait and paralysis
Sodium: React violently with moisture and can attack the skin
Zinc: Leads to vomiting
Nitrate: Could lead to mental impairment
Nitrite: Could lead to coma
Children get most affected by air pollution!
Anti Crackers Campaign
Method: Discuss issues related to fire-crackers with the students. Ask them about, and supplement their information on:
The air and noise pollution caused by fire-crackers
The advantages of banning fire-crackers
The problems in banning the use of fire-crackers
Help students plan a 'No Crackers' campaign to reach out to the whole school.
They could work in groups choosing from the following ideas:
Announcement in the assembly and class to class appeals and discussions
Write and perform a skit to educate others about the negative effects of crackers (air pollution, noise pollution, injury and support of child labor)
Recruiting volunteers from each class to make posters for their own class – this is likely to evoke greater participation and therefore greater commitment from more students
Prepare an Oath Letter for not using the crackers at any celebrations or festivals and circulate copies to schools. Invite all students to take a pledge in the days just before the festival
Make and distribute badges of ‘Say No to Crackers’ or ‘Shun Crackers’ They should explain to all students that only if they are really committed should they wear the badge. At the same time, they should explain why it is important to reduce the use of crackers
Form a network of Anti Crackers Schools
Related activity: Anti-Cracker Slogans
Divide the students into small groups of 4-5 and have them come up with slogans for an anti-cracker campaign. Give them 20-30 minutes to come up with a catchy slogan (such as ‘cracker-free community’).
Groups can then present their best slogan and the class can vote on which one/ones they like the best. This slogan can then be incorporated into a class anti-cracker campaign.