The Supreme Court banned the sale of firecrackers in Delhi this Diwali. While firecrackers have majorly contributed to toxic pollution levels in India, are we very late?
The Supreme Court has banned the sale of firecrackers from today till November 1 in the capital. While this move does not guarantee that no firecrackers will be burst in the city or that people who have already stocked on the firecrackers won’t ‘lend’ it to their friends, it does show that India is walking towards a cleaner, happier Diwali.
It has been a known fact that firecracker factories have often employed children as labourers putting their lives at risk. But these factories, that are placed all over the country, especially in Tamil Nadu will take a very bad hit. The workers will be drastically hit too. While this step is a small one, other states of India might follow suit. A similar ban was put in place last year in the NCR region but at that time the apex court had not observed the pollution levels.
As per a report released by Cauveri Development Office and presented by Fr. Thamburaj SDB, 90% of India’s fireworks factories are situated in Sivakasi, Tamil Nadu. The pyrotechnics (fireworks) industry is valued at approximately ₹800-1000 crores. There are nearly 460 fireworks factories giving employment to about 40,000 workers.
It is also a fact that approximately 90% of the workers in these factories suffer from tuberculosis or asthma. Many chemicals used in the manufacture of fireworks are prone to causing skin diseases and other health hazards, as per the same report. What can be done to improve the life of these workers?
The Supreme Court has passed this order responding to a petition of 2015 by three children, as per NDTV.