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
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
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)