An Indian vendor sells earthen lamps ahead of Diwali in Prayagraj on Friday. Rajesh Kumar Singh/ AP
For millions of Indians, Diwali, the festival of lights, is a time to spread cheer, friendship and togetherness. It is also a time when children in particular are extremely eager to welcome the celebrations, mainly due to the firecrackers. Till 2018, loud firecrackers were the norm, amid shrieks of delight from the young and old alike. However, last year, the government banned traditional firecrackers, citing environmental reasons, putting a dampener of sorts on the high spirits of the celebrants. Now, it plans low-emission firecrackers and light shows, but its uneven rollout has hurt some businesses and proven difficult to enforce.
The measures for Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, on Sunday follow a 2018 Supreme Court ruling banning traditional firecrackers.
India’s Council for Scientific and Industrial Research says “green” firecrackers produce 30% fewer emissions and don’t contain arsenic.
The New Delhi government will stage a four-day laser show starting Saturday to encourage residents to skip firecrackers altogether.
Urban policy researcher Rumi Aijaz says that one day’s efforts can impact air quality because they come at a critical period in the pollution season when farmers in northern India burn crop stubble to clear fields.
The Indian festival Diwali, which is also called the festival of lights, is celebrated in full swing all around the country, even amid the on-going coronavirus restrictions.
More than a billion Indians celebrated Diwali on Saturday amid twin concerns of a resurgence in coronavirus infections and rising air pollution that is enveloping the country’s north in a cloud of thick toxic smog.
Air pollution in some parts of the Indian capital deteriorated early on Monday to the worst recorded level, officials said, a day after revellers set off fireworks to mark Diwali in celebrations that were more subdued than in previous years.
There were firefighters present, which reassured the diners who went on eating like “nothing had happened".
In the video, a lion can be seen freely roaming around in a village before it is taken aback by the invasion of the dogs, who succeed in chasing away the majestic creature. The big cat soon runs towards a kine of cows standing nearby.
The well wishers attended a banquet Iftar held by Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed on this occasion.
French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin announced, on Friday, that 457 people had been arrested, and that 441 police and gendarmerie officers were injured on Thursday, in France, during the ninth day of protests against pension reform.