Admit it, Sikkim keeps surprising us from time to time. It regularly makes it to the headlines,owing to its cleanliness. Even last month it was in the news when the State was declared the first Open Defecation Free state in India. Now this small Northeastern state, with 82% literacy, has managed to do what other states and administrations have failed- ban the use of fire crackers and celebrate a clean, green Diwali.
Festival of Lights minus the noise
If you are in Sikkim and a fan of firecrackers and noise, then you are in for some serious disappointment. The Himalayan state celebrated the festival of lights, Diwali with lights and sparkles. The noise and pollution that has become synonymous with Diwali celebrations around the country is inconspicuous by its absence.
‘Our young people have been in the forefront of the campaign to ban noisy and toxic firecrackers’, PD Rai of Sikkim Democratic Front told the media.
How did they achieve this?
It is to be noted that Diwali in Sikkim wasn’t always like this. In 2014, the noise levels from the extensive use of firecrackers had reached an inflection point. As a result there was a public outcry against the same. A government decree was issued banning the use of all types of firecrackers.
In 2015, there was a 50% drop in use of firecrackers. This year there was a massive campaign to make citizens aware and the move was endorsed wholeheartedly by the people, particularly the young. And this time around, the state had achieved the impossible, something which other states can only dream of- a Diwali devoid of any noise and pollution.
So next time you want a quiet, pollution free Diwali you know where to head.