New Delhi: On average, 2 in 3 households in India do not plan to burn firecrackers this Diwali, a new survey has revealed.
The survey, conducted by community platform LocalCircles, also revealed that 42 per cent of households support “some form of ban” on lighting crackers during the festival. However, 53 per cent households said no restrictions should be imposed on cracker burning as it is not the root cause of the air pollution problems faced in recent winters.
The survey was conducted in light of worsening air pollution and a sharp increase in Air Quality Index — to greater than 1,000 — in much of north India during the Diwali season in recent years.
“Of the top 50 polluted cities in the world, over 35 are in India. This year, in many north Indian cities, the AQI has already crossed 300,” the survey said.
The survey’s findings also showed a range of reactions to the issue of burning firecrackers, their impact on air pollution, and subsequent debates on whether they should be banned to curb pollution.
“The Supreme Court of India has issued a strict order that prohibits fireworks that contain Barium salt, a toxic chemical. However, there is no total ban on the use of firecrackers, and green crackers have been allowed to be used during the festival,” LocalCircles added.
Long Covid, loss of family member leads to attitude change
The primary question LocalCircles asked households was if they are planning to burn firecrackers this Diwali. Forty-five per cent of respondents said they would “not burn any crackers”, 15 per cent said they would burn green crackers, and just six per cent said they would continue to burn regular crackers.
Significantly, eight per cent of households answered the above question with “not applicable or do not plan to celebrate Diwali this year”. In most years, only 2-3 per cent of households would select this response.
LocalCircles elaborated on this by saying mMany households have lost a family member this year or have a family member still struggling with long Covid or other ailments, and hence, are not celebrating. “There are others who are facing a financial crisis due to a lost livelihood,” it stated.
Thus, on aggregate, the survey said, 2-in-3 households said they would not burn crackers.
Another significant question in the survey was whether households support a ban on firecrackers during Diwali. Of the 42 per cent who expressed support for some form of ban, 28 per cent favoured a nationwide ban on burning crackers, while the rest favoured either a state or district-level ban.
The survey also revealed why households were choosing not to burn crackers this Diwali, with the most commonly cited reason being air pollution — at 63 per cent.
LocalCircles’ survey received around 28,000 responses from Indian households in 371 districts nationwide.
“63 per cent respondents were men and 37 per cent were women; 41 per cent respondents were from Tier 1, 33 per cent from Tier 2 and 26 per cent respondents were from Tier 3, 4 and rural districts,” the survey added.
(Edited by Paramita Ghosh)