Fireworks, negligence and accidents: Lessons to learn from past celebrations
Every year the sky of Old Dhaka is lit up with fireworks to mark Shakrain Festival, and this year will be no different. We might enjoy looking at the explosion of colours, but is it necessary? Have we given a thought about how it is harming the environment, affecting the lives of children, the elderly and the sick?
As responsible citizens, we need to adhere to our ethics and responsibilities first, and consider the matter — how fireworks show and other firecrackers impact the peace and atmosphere of our neighbourhood and the environment altogether. While we do not discourage celebrations, the question and concern remain: have we learned from our past mistakes? And what precautions are we adopting to prevent casualties from happening again?
Fireworks show is a fun and loud mode of enjoyment, and young people find it entertaining. However, for the elderly, it is simply an unpleasantness and a matter of health concern. We all know that noise pollution causes anxiety and stress, which in turn can worsen the health status of people who are suffering from heart conditions. According to physicians and chemists, children and elders should be strictly kept away from gases and pollutants that emanate from different firecrackers. And recently, the heedless demonstration of fireworks has harmed a number of people in many ways, as some have faced losses in their business due to fire accidents. We should reconsider the matter—whether we are willing to pay hospital bills in exchange for the toxic display of fireworks or not.
Reasons to celebrate but also not make us forget about the animals who often serve as our lovable companions. Whether that be our pet, stray animals or the fauna surrounding our city lives — sparks, flames, fumes, and loud noise caused by fireworks and firecrackers can seriously harm them.
We know that the hearing of many animals is much more sensitive than it is for humans—and so, the deafening explosions of fireworks are not only distressing to them, such explosions can damage their hearing severely and even permanently.
And have we regarded that such events can be very traumatising to them? Unexpected and unpredictable blaring noise can cause phobias and panic reactions among animals, and of course, we do not want our beloved companions to disappear or run away. Fireworks are certainly a popular means of celebration and can add a joyous vibe to any event; so, it will be a wiser option to conduct fireworks shows in a centralised way (at an open field or ground), supervised by the authority, and not on tightly packed rooftops. Besides, fireworks are polluting products, and they are also expensive. Hence, why not opt for cheaper and more sustainable alternatives?
For me, the best way to honour any important event is to try to create the minimum havoc, especially on nature, care about people and volunteer, for example, in any homeless shelter, or simply serve soup to my family and go for stargazing. Undoubtedly, fireworks are not worth the damages they create.