Diwali is the most pan-Indian festival & is celebrated with lot of joy & fervour. It is strange that, if festivals are sacred occasions of thanksgiving and renewal, how many of us have turned it into celebrations of cruelty. The day after Diwali brings in thousands of stray animals into shelters.
Report of The Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says that approximately 10,000 pets and farm animals were injured or killed by fireworks in Scotland last year. Imagine what would happen in our cities where we have so many unprotected stray animals. Every day brings in more than this number in each Indian city.
Here is an insight into the effect on stray animals-
Effects on Animals on streets
Stray Animals are tortured-
Crackers are tied to the tails.They are burnt by burning crackers thrown at them. The little kittens and puppies are flung into burning anars. They are tied to strings of bombs and can no longer even function out of terror. Terrorised they run into fences & cars and get hurt. Animals who are close to firework explosions often suffer significant burns and eye damage.
Animals are terrified, run, get lost and die
Street animals go into hiding for weeks at a time. Without any access to food and water, many of them die. Yet they prefer to die rather than venture out into a battlefield. It is a common occurrence that several animals in the area will get terrified and simply run. Many get lost,others risk getting killed or severely injured by oncoming traffic.
Effects on birds
Fear makes them abandon nests-
The rockets fall into trees and burn the nests. In panic, thousands of birds abandon their nests and fly away, again to die of starvation. Wild birds are frightened off their nests so their eggs get cold and the chicks die. Roosting birds can be frightened off their perches, falling to the ground and dying.
Birds lose their way back home-
Migrating birds that overfly the city change their routes and lose their way, landing in hostile areas. In poor light they are very vulnerable to accidents. Many get hit by rockets.
Zoologists point out that the combined responses to fireworks of panic and disorientation can result in birds flying into a building or too far out to come back. After a loud bang, most birds fly away in fright, and the nesting mothers of the flock sometimes cannot find their own nest upon return, endangering the well-being of nestlings.
Growth of birds is affected-
Research shows that hatching and juvenile birds at a site of sudden noises grow slower and have less body weight than birds living in low-noise areas.
Studies to examine the impact of sound found that the birds reduced their feeding time. The energy loss created could be only partially compensated for by feeding at night, resulting in less time resting and sleeping.
Over time, this behavior reduces survival rates. Hens show extremely low egg production the day after fireworks, and the eggs are often malformed as well.
If you care about animals and the earth, then Diwali is an important part of the year for jeux blackjack en ligne you to show your concern.
What you can do to help
Volunteer at animal shelters-
The best way to help strays are at the shelters. One must volunteer to help with emergencies, calls and building the enclosures. Donations can be made for the same. Fund raising can be done along with providing professional expertise. Also, help in taking care of the animals is a must.
Spread awareness via media-
Write to the newspapers, your state Chief Minister, local councillor/MLA/MP to take up the matter. Firework safety materials that include how to protect animals from harm must be released through all local media outlets prior to times of firework use. All local media outlets include: local television and radio stations; local daily, weekly and monthly newspapers; community newspapers and newsletters; local public access cable television stations; community billboards; school and city or county billboards; printed calendars of community events.
Give refuge to the strays-
Try and bring in any animals on the road into your garden or garage and put out food and water for them.
Legal measures must be taken-
Since this is a matter of life and death for both animals and humans, we cannot simply rely on a voluntary code of conduct with fireworks. The laws must be framed for the following-
Licensing & checking of crackers & shops-
Crackers should be inspected for noise and chemical level. The use of loudest pyrotechnics like bombs and rockets should be banned completely. The general sale of fireworks should be stopped. Shops that sell them should be licensed and checked to monitor which ones they sell.
Precautions for displays-
Displays must use only nontoxic, non-percussive fireworks. Displays of percussive fireworks should never be allowed in residential areas. Displays should never be allowed where wildlife gathers or nest, especially threatened or endangered species. They should be limited to specific areas, and should be kept short.
Say ‘NO’ to crackers
If Diwali has to be “celebrated” then let us do it in the way that they were originally meant to be – with oil lamps and prayers. Do not buy crackers and fireworks. They kill humans and animals. Do not tolerate them in your colony as an expression of “democracy”.
Approach schools and educate children why not to buy crackers or attend Ramlilas that have fireworks. Firework safety materials that include how to protect animals from harm must be distributed in schools.
No weddings, gatherings, etc, should be allowed to have firework displays. Decide and make people aware not have crackers /fireworks in your area. Do not attend any gathering that has fireworks.
Common man agrees
Comprehensive polls show that 81 % of those questioned agreed that loud fireworks should be banned. In a spot poll of 851 respondents 741 believed that public sale and use of fireworks should be banned and 668 thought only silent fireworks should be available for private use.
In this age of technology, surely we can create celebratory displays that are thrilling and joyful without endangering our health, our animals, and our earth.
- Maneka Gandhi
Share with your friends:
About the author
Maneka Gandhi is an environmentalist & animal rights leader in India and belongs to the Nehru-Gandhi political clan.She was a magazine editor & columnist before authoring several books on law, etymology & animal welfare like Sanjay Gandhi, Brahma’s Hair and Heads & Tails.Her articles regularly feature in newspapers and magazines.
She started PFA (People for Animals) which is now the largest animal rights organization in India.It’s shelters are known world wide for the immense work in animal welfare.
For more information please visit PFA’s website www.peopleforanimalsindia.org