How To: Celebrate Diwali in the Spirit of the Festival


This was circulated on Smail by the Wildlife Club, Prakriti. This message is also in memory of Dr. Dilip Veeraraghavan, who always used to remind us about the safety of wild animals on campus during Diwali.

Dear fellow-residents of the IIT campus,

We are eagerly looking forward to celebrating Diwali tomorrow. Such celebrations are incomplete
if unaccompanied by a concern for the safety and comfort of ourselves and those around us.
With our creative inspiration it is possible for us make this Deepavali a safe and harmonious festival for all!

As we know, most animals and birds have a keener perception of sound than most humans, as they need this to survive in their natural habitats. In addition, most animals, including our own little children, are born with an instinctive fear of loud sounds. The cracker explosions, which we
ourselves are often intimidated by, are known to be far, far more perturbing to animals and birds. As they do not fully understand what is going on, most of them are driven to panic, anxiety and fear by fireworks and crackers. Due to the high levels of pollution (air, noise and water), firecrackers are also cause of great concern in thickly populated cities.

Therefore, this Diwali, we propose the following for your consideration,
– That we minimize our use of loud explosive crackers and skyrockets if we can, and burst them only in places where you are sure it will neither disturb nor cause accidents to humans/animals/birds.
– That we light fireworks of the rocket variety with the greatest caution, trying never to release them into trees or other places where monkeys, birds and other animals may have made their homes.
– That we avoid lighting fire crackers in places where animals like deer/blackbuck feed (for example, the stadium or wherever grass is available) since the chemicals released will contaminate their food. In addition, unexploded chemicals attached to the paper may be eaten by animals.

We earnestly hope these suggestions will find a place in your heart, and that this Deepavali will be a happy one for you, and for all life on this campus.

Warm regards,
Prakriti (Wildlife club)

(A detailed version can be found here. The message was initiated by a campus resident).

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