HERE IS HOW TO CLAIM YOUR #RIGHTTOBREATHE THIS DI­WALI

City res­i­dents are ral­ly­ing un­der a clar­ion call — #Sup­port­y­ourSHO — to check in­stances of cracker burst­ing, de­spite the SC ban

HT City - - MY CITY - Ruchika Garg ruchika.garg@hin­dus­tan­times.com

The Supreme Court’s de­ci­sion on crackers this Di­wali has come as a huge re­lief for res­i­dents of the smog and pol­lu­tion-stricken Delhi. Though cracker shops are closed mostly through­out the Cap­i­tal — in­clud­ing cracker bas­tion Old Delhi — some are still burst­ing them with to­tal lack of sen­si­tiv­ity for en­vi­ron­ment and fear of law.

But for the oth­ers who are pained to see the state of the en­vi­ron­ment that has wors­ened in the past few years, the so­lu­tion is to ap­proach the Sta­tion House Of­fi­cer (SHO) of your area. “As per the Supreme Court or­der, only green crackers are al­lowed, and peo­ple don’t re­ally know much about them. They aren’t even avail­able in the mar­ket, so, ba­si­cally, it’s a ban on crackers,” says Bhavreen Mal­ho­tra Kandhari, a De­fence Colony res­i­dent who has come up with a cam­paign called #Sup­port­y­ourSHO, to fa­cil­i­tate checks on those flout­ing the rule. “We made a group on What­sApp, called #Sup­port­y­ourSHO, and it worked. Peo­ple from dif­fer­ent colonies joined us, met the SHOs of their ar­eas with a let­ter, and we formed a team to fight such sit­u­a­tions to­gether,” adds Kandhari.

The SHO of De­fence Colony, Arvind Sharma has, in turn, formed a team of 50 vol­un­teers from his area, in­clud­ing from schools and res­i­dent wel­fare as­so­ci­a­tions. The vol­un­teers visit peo­ple if they get to know about some in­ci­dent of cracker burst­ing, and ask them to de­sist from it.

“The prime ob­jec­tive is to spread aware­ness about the ban and the de­graded en­vi­ron­men­tal con­di­tions. There is no need to take harsh step at the first in­stance, and that’s what we are do­ing. We are vis­it­ing school as­sem­blies and telling kids to not burst crackers. I was so happy to see that most of the kids are al­ready aware of it and are sup­port­ing us by tak­ing out ral­lies. Some of them have even staged nukkad nataks in open ar­eas,” says Sharma.

Mean­while, for Kandhari, who has been run­ning the #MyRightToBreathe cam­paign since 2016, #Sup­port­y­ourSHO is part of the big­ger con­cern at hand — cleaner air and en­vi­ron­men­tal con­ser­va­tion. For those want­ing to fol­low in her foot­steps, she has made avail­able a copy of the let­ter one can carry along while vis­it­ing their area’s SHO.

We made a group on What­sApp called #Sup­port­y­ourSHO, and it worked won­ders. Peo­ple from dif­fer­ent colonies joined us, met the SHOs of their ar­eas with a let­ter, and we formed a team to fight such sit­u­a­tions to­gether.

BHAVREEN MAL­HO­TRA KANDHARI RES­I­DENT, DE­FENCE COLONY

There is no need to take harsh step at the first in­stance. The vol­un­teers visit peo­ple [in­dulging in] cracker burst­ing, and ask them not to do it.

ARVIND SHARMA SHO, DE­FENCE COLONY

PHOTO: SHIVAM SAX­ENA/HT

Fire­cracker shops in the city have mostly stayed shut ow­ing to the Supreme Court ban on non­green crackers, so those want­ing to place a check on any in­stances of cracker burst­ing may con­tact their area’s SHO with a copy of this let­ter (left)

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