Mumbai: Diwali in the maximum city, Mumbai, will be greener this year, thanks to the efforts of Sumaira Abdulali, an activist with NGO Aawaz Foundation, who for the last ten years has been working tirelessly to make this happen. Maximum city has been recording relatively noise-free Diwalis for the past two years and 2012, too, looks promising.
“We had asked people to complain to the police or us or on our website. So far, we have received only 1-2 complaints while last year the same time we had 10-15 complaints,” says Sumaira Abdulali.
Firecracker retailers say there has been a significant shift from noise-based crackers to light-based ones. The demand for crackers in general has slumped by 30 per cent thanks to enhanced awareness of their ill effects.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan also spread the green word by sending out a personalised Diwali message to avoid cracker pollution. After an encouraging response, Aawaz foundation now wants to spread awareness about hazardous metal content in light-based crackers. “This time the message will be different. We want to ask people to celebrate Diwali the traditional way without any crackers," says Abdulali.
While noise levels have gone down only in the last two years, activists hope this will become the new tradition of Diwali celebration in the city.