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Harit Diwali-Swasth Diwali campaign by Environment Ministry

  • Category
    Environment
  • Published
    29th Oct, 2018

Keeping in view the detrimental effects of fire-crackers during and post Diwali, the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has initiated a “Harit Diwali-Swasth Diwali” campaign.

Context

Keeping in view the detrimental effects of fire-crackers during and post Diwali, the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has initiated a “Harit Diwali-Swasth Diwali” campaign.

About

  • Harit Diwali-Swasth Diwali campaign was initiated in 2017-18 wherein large number of school children especially from eco-clubs participated and took pledge to minimize bursting of crackers and also discouraged the neighbourhood and their friends from bursting of crackers.
  • During this intensive campaign, the children were advised to celebrate Diwali in an environment-friendly manner by gifting plant sapling to their relatives and friends along with sweets, undertake cleaning of houses, neighbourhoods, schools, collect old books and unused notebooks gift to needy children, donate old warm clothing, blankets to night-shelters and other homeless people.
  • The children were encouraged to light up their houses and their schools with candles and diyas. The above campaign was extremely successful and the air quality had not deteriorated post Diwali in 2017 unlike what was experienced in 2016.
  • Overwhelmed by the last year’s response, the Ministry has initiated the similar campaign this year, however, the campaign has been extended Pan-India.
  • The campaign is now merged with “Green Good Deed” movement that has been initiated as a social mobilization for conservation and protection of environment. The ministry encourages all schools and colleges to be part of this campaign.

    Green Good Deeds Movement

    • The government has launched a digital mobile application in an effort to transform environment protection into a peoples’ movement.
    • The App has been named “Dr Harsh Vardhan” after the Union Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Earth Sciences and Science & Technology and focuses on his social & public activities and involvement of citizens in “Green Good Deeds” movement, which urgespeople to perform at least one Green Good Deed every day.
    • Some of the 500 Green Good Deeds listed in the Mobile App include – planting trees, saving energy, conserving water, use of public transport and promoting carpool.
    • The objective of transforming Green Good Deeds into a peoples’ movement can be best achieved by starting mass digital campaigns that can reach out to youth and children.
    • A two-way digital communication tool – ‘Connect with Me’ is a unique feature of the Application.
    • It also affords citizens an opportunity to directly submit their feedback and suggestions on a variety of issues.

Significance

  • Air pollution is a serious health issue in the country especially in the northern parts during winter seasons.
  • The air pollution in the northern region is attributed to dust, burning of crops in certain states, burning of garbage construction and prevailing climatic conditions.
  • The crackers used in Diwali celebrations, contains combustible chemicals that include potassium chlorate powdered aluminium, magnesium, salts of barium, copper, sodium, lithium, strontium etc. and emit smoke and sound. This smoke and sound has health impacts on children, aged people and also animal and birds.
  • Apart from these compounds, large amount of waste is also generated after bursting of crackers.
  • Thus, the Harit Diwali-Swasth Diwali campaign aims to reduce the detrimental effects on environment during and post-Diwali celebrations while keeping the importance of the festival intact.
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