Say No to Crackers !
Its once again the Children who are showing the way. Well its their brothers and sisters – who toil in the dark holes of the Fire Cracker Industry to create those wonderful bursts of light which brings cheer to us every Diwali.
Aren’t they our brothers and sisters too. So how do we stop them. For Starters - SAY NO TO CRACKERS
This may not be the only way to stop child labour but a small help always helps. Add to this the relief from Sound and Environmental Pollution.
Read in the Article Below the success of this campaign last year in Delhi. Calcutta has already adopted a quieter strain of festivity for the last few years.
Wednesday, October 21, 1998
Crackers And Common Sense
EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE
It was a truth universally acknowledged that those who burst the loudest crackers for the longest period of time were the ones who had celebrated Diwali best of all. This year that nostrum no longer held true. Indeed, the festival season was marked by an unprecedented display of social concern.
For years, social activists had decried the flagrant abuse of child labour in the manufacture of firecrackers; for years, environmentalists had tried to highlight the dangers of the reckless burning of such devices and the effect it had on the ambient air quality of cities everywhere; for years, judges have ruled that Diwali celebrations must not be allowed to intrude on other people's right to some neighbourhood peace and quiet. This time there was some evidence that these various messages had finally gone home.
What helped, of course, were the public campaigns launched by various schools, colleges and social institutions all over the country. In Delhi, for two months before the festival season, school children -- including those who are handicapped -- campaigned on the issue. They even took to the streets, forming human chains and holding placards with messages like, ``Crackers thrill but it can sometimes kill'' or ``Cracker free Diwali/ Happier Diwali''. That Diwali can sparkle without the mandatory attack on the ears, was the substance of the campaign.
The consumer in this case is, more often than not, a youngster not given to deliberating on the philosophical aspects or social repercussions of his/her behaviour. The schools campaign worked because it was not unnecessarily didactic in that it did not throw the rule book at the students, but gently encouraged them to locate themselves and their actions within a social context and perceive for themselves the consequences of the choices they make as consumers.
What did, clearly, bring an emotional edge to the campaign was the child labour involved in the manufacture of firecrackers. It's difficult to arrive at the number of children involved in this trade, but conservative estimates place it at one lakh. They work in the most abysmal conditions -- long hours spent in crowded, dingy rooms for a pittance of a daily wage.
The campaign succeeded in getting privileged urban children to perceive the links between their lives and those of the young workers. Campaigns like this will do more to abolish child labour in this country than the pious resolutions and lofty speeches of politicians. Already some manufacturers of fireworks, sensitive to the economic consequences of such campaigns, have started carrying labels on their products specifying that they were made by adults. This is a significant beginning. When Diwali sparkles with social concern, it is truly good news.
Copyright © 1998 Indian Express Newspapers (Bombay) Ltd.
On a bit of surfing I found these fancy pages of those Fireworks manufacturers, which so glumly publicise their wares made out of the sweat and angst of small kids. Below is a list of them.
Please visit their Sites and Send them some well worded pieces of E-Mail to drill some sense into them. To make it easier below is a list of E-Mail addresses of the Fireworks manufacturers. Copy this into your E-Mail ‘To’Field and send it to them.
& Finally I’m sure there is much more to it than doing just this. Please let me know of any similar efforts on the internet – I would surely like to add links / references to this page. For any comments / information / advise – please mail to ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’