Diwali 2018: Tips To Manage Pollution
Diwali has become synonymous with pollution and despite the Supreme Court judgement banning sale of firecrackers in Delhi NCR, the air quality is still expected to deteriorate.
Diwali is the festival of lights. Of twinkling, sparkling lights, of diyas and candles, of Chinese mirchi lights and Indian wall lights.
However, in some strange way, a lot of people have started thinking of it as the festival of firecrackers. For them, this festival is not complete without 10-feet long ladis, rockets, anaars, and scary-sounding bombs. Keeping in mind the deteriorating air quality and the health problems that come with it, the Supreme Court recently banned the sale of crackers in the Delhi-NCR area. The sad thing is, some elements will just not stop. There has already been a deplorable protest outside the SC, where people have defied the ban and have burst crackers right outside the premises of the Supreme Court and crackers have even been distributed to children in the nearby slum areas.
What people fail to understand is that a few minutes of pleasure for them could mean life or death for someone else.
People with asthma and other respiratory issues, the elderly, and little children are especially vulnerable to harm from the blanket of smoke and smog that envelopes the country starting a couple of days before Diwali, and till a few days after.
To help yourself breathe easy, here are a few tips to manage pollution and the polluted air we will be breathing for the next few days:
- Stay in – On Diwali day, when the pollution will be at its peak, it is advisable to stay indoors, with closed windows and the air conditioner on. Staying away from the smoke from the firecrackers will help immensely.
- Air purifiers – Do yourself a favour and gift yourself an air purifier this Diwali. Air purifiers work as vacuum cleaners for the air, and are massively useful for those with respiratory problems. Do your research well before investing in one, because the markets are full of options and you’d want to buy one that can last you for at least a few years.
- Masks – If you cannot avoid going out on Diwali day, or a day or 2 before or after, get a good quality mask from your local chemist. Make sure the mask fits well, so that polluted air doesn’t get in from anywhere.
- Change your clothes – If you do have to step out during the Diwali season, take a shower and change your clothes as soon as you get back home. This will help curb the exposure that your clothes and skin have already taken on.
- Keep a stock of your medicines – A lot of shops are closed during Diwali. So for those with asthma or other breathing problems, it is important to keep inhalers and other medicines ready, with the expiry date checked. Even if some shops are open, or you have to rush to a hospital, the pollution on the road will just make your situation worse. Prevention is better than cure! Ask your doctor if you should nebulise or for other options that may help.
- In case of shortness of breath – If you feel a problem coming on, take a wet cloth and hold it to your nose, so that the smoke doesn’t get inside your system. If it does not get better soon, rush to a doctor.
- Walk time – In case you are accustomed to regular walks, hold on for a few days. If you must, take your walk early in the morning as opposed to in the evening. This will reduce your exposure to harmful pollutants.
Diwali should be a time of joy and happiness, of meeting up with family and celebrating the goodness and richness of life. Instead, for some, it becomes a fight for survival. Keep this in mind the next time you, or someone close to you, gets excited about firecrackers.