Air Quality: Sensitise Students Against Bursting Firecrackers, Delhi Government Tells Schools
The Delhi government has directed all schools in the national capital to sensitise students against bursting firecrackers during the festival season in view of the deteriorating air quality, which is an increased cause of concern during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Since the schools continue to be closed, the authorities have been advised to use WhatsApp groups and other virtual mediums to motivate the students to "say no to crackers".
"Festive season of Diwali, Chhat Puja and Guru Parb is marked by heavy use of firecrackers, which release toxic pollutants like sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide and many others which pollute the air and cause serious ailments like asthma, bronchitis, hypertension and cardiovascular problems. The air and noise pollution caused by the firecrackers also affect the lives of animals, birds and other living beings on earth," the Directorate of Education said in a letter to the school principals.
"The ailing and old persons are all the more prone to catch different allergies and diseases caused by pollution. During the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic, ensuring better ambient air quality is essential since respiratory ailment is one of the major symptoms in corona patients and bursting of firecrackers can deteriorate air quality," it added.
The department has directed the schools to sensitise the students about the ill-effects of bursting firecrackers and encourage them to celebrate the festivals by lighting candles, electric fancy lights, earthen lamps and keeping the environment neat and clean.
"Students should be motivated to 'say no to firecrackers'. In addition to this, heads of the schools should direct the teachers to motivate the students to adopt safer and eco-friendly measures to celebrate Diwali and other festivals in a different way, instead of bursting firecrackers.
"In view of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, all the schools are closed for students and hence, all the heads of schools are hereby directed to utilise the WhatsApp groups to share the above information with the students to follow at home," the DoE said.
According to the Central Pollution Control Board, Delhi's air quality index was recorded at 268 at 10 am on Wednesday, while on Tuesday, it was 223.
An AQI between zero and 50 is considered "good", 51 and 100 "satisfactory", 101 and 200 "moderate", 201 and 300 "poor", 301 and 400 "very poor", and 401 and 500 "severe".