With an aim to promote cracker-free Diwali, Chandigarh Pollution Control Committee and Yuvsatta launched a "Go Green Diwali Campaign" in city schools. Chanchal Singh, deputy director, school education, was chief guest at the event organized at Government Model High School, Sector 34C, and later Indira Beniwal, principal of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 33D, administered a pledge to students to celebrate and observe "Green Diwali".

Initiating dialogue with the students, Chanchal Singh said that "for fireworks to shoot up into the air and explode, several pyrotechnic chemical (materials capable of undergoing exothermic reactions for production of heat, light, gas, smoke and/or sound) are used. Youngsters should say no to crackers or burn small crackers not individually but at community level." He also cautioned students to take all precautions like wearing cotton cloths, remain in presence of elders, use open space for fireworks and keep a bucket of water handy for any emergency.

Lauding eco-clubs of schools in Chandigarh, Santosh Kumar, vice-chairman, Chandigarh Pollution Control Committee; and director, department of environment, said that at times during Diwali days, the pollution level goes up 10-15 times than the permissible limits and it's the responsibility of each one of us to not only take all precautionary steps of protection but also to ensure celebrations of green Diwali with home-made sweets, by gifting green plants and saying no to polluting and toxic harmful crackers.

"We encourage traditional way of celebrating Diwali in which homes are decorated with lamps," said Pramod Sharma, coordinator of Yuvsatta. The programme at both schools ended with a pledge by more than 2,500 students of Government Model High School, Sector 34C, and Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 33D, to observe "green Diwali and stay away from crackers".

Source: October 18, 2016, The Times of India