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Indian Army initiates go green campaign this Diwali


New Delhi: Indian Army regiments in the National Capital Region have decided to go for a cracker-free, green Diwali to contribute towards healthier festivities in the pollution-battered city.

Diwali, the festival of lights, is celebrated to mark Hindu god Ram’s return post his 14-year exile. People of Ayodhya celebrated his return by lighting up earthen lamps filled with ghee. Since then, the lighting aspect of the festival was extended to firing of crackers and subsequently, use of electric lights for decorative purposes. It is said that the lamps attract insects towards the flame and, in a way, the environment gets rid of them as they get killed by going towards the flame. The ghee vapour which is released in the air is known to be a purifying agent.

Delhi is one of the most polluted cities of the country as vehicles, industries and bad practices of civil society pollute the atmosphere with the release of smoke and other pollutants in air, apart from adversely affecting water and soil.

During the time of Diwali, the level of pollution in the atmosphere rises alarmingly, adding to the woes of the residents who suffer from several diseases caused due to the pollution. Apart from people, animals go through a very hard time as well due to crackers bursting out everywhere because they have more sensitive hearing.

This year, the Delhi Headquarters of the Army Cantonment initiated a campaign for Diwali – This Diwali Let’s Go Green.

The initiative is to bring in an environment friendly, pollution free and safer Diwali this year. The campaign was already initiated a week prior to the celebrations starting in full swing.

“The whole idea of the campaign is to ‘say no to crackers’ so as to reduce pollution levels, as the extent of air and noise pollution caused due to bursting of fire crackers is a cause of concern every Deepawali,” Army sources said.

The Army had, over the weekend, organized a ‘Green Diwali’ mela which was inaugurated by Namita Suhag, president of the Army Wives Welfare Association.

Such steps by the Indian Army represent India’s bigger concerns such as environmental amelioration as opposed to the religious aspect, where certain sections would raise the point of Hindu festivals being ‘fiddled with’. This initiative of the Indian Army also recovers the old practice of lighting lamps on Diwali, as ‘Deepawali’ literally means ‘a line of lamps’.

The active steps taken by these men protecting our borders as well as focusing on internal troubles represent their concerns towards the nation on the whole. We, the members of civil society, must follow these initiatives for a healthier and happier Diwali.




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Air Pollution in Delhi Again Reaches ‘Severe’ Levels

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecast light rainfall at isolated places in Delhi over the weekend which might bring down pollution levels

Air Pollution
Delhi air pollution again reaches 'severe' levels. Pixabay

Owing to a rise in humidity and light winds, the overall air quality of the national capital slipped to the ‘severe’ zone on Saturday, despite the authorities predicting it would remain in the ‘very poor’ category.

“Calm winds along with a spike in humidity levels because of an induced Cyclonic Circulation over Northern Plains are the major contributors for a hike in pollution levels in Delhi and adjoining areas,” Mahesh Palawat, Director at private weather forecasting agency Skymet told IANS.

He said that the pollution levels might increase in the coming days as humidity levels are expected to go up due to rains in Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan.

“Around January 13 and 14, moderate to dense fog is expected to make a comeback, which will result in high pollution levels and minimums will see a drop by a couple of degrees,” he said.

However, the Skymet Director said that post January 15, the air quality might start improving due to cold, north-westerly winds which will blow over the plains of the country.

The System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR), in its daily pollution analysis, has been maintaining that the air quality in Delhi won’t go beyond the ‘very poor’ category.

Delhi. air pollution
A man rides his bicycle in front of the India Gate shrouded in smog in New Delhi, Dec. 26, 2018. VOA

On Saturday however, many areas in Delhi and adjoining areas at 12 p.m recorded ‘severe’ levels of toxic particulate matter (PM) 2.5.

Anand Vihar at 448, Dwarka sector-8 at 450, ITO at 413, Mundka at 438, Delhi University North Campus at 416, R.K. Puram at 415, and Wazirpur at 434 – all recorded ‘severe’ levels of PM2.5.

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Other areas like Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Ashok Vihar, Burari Crossing, Vivek Vihar, Sirifort, Okhla Phase-2 also fared in the same category.

On Wednesday and Thursday, Delhi-NCR witnessed its first better days of the year with the air quality recorded in the ‘poor’ zone.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecast light rainfall at isolated places in Delhi over the weekend which might bring down pollution levels. (IANS)