An eight year old child, scared and sitting terrified in mother’s lap, feeling breathless and feeling a bit dizzy. Deafening sound of crackers send shivers down her spine. Her mother closing all the doors of house avoiding the fumes entering the room like ghosts from every small crevices, peepholes and slits. The mother prays for the smooth sail through these days and the child knows very well that the time and season has come when people will revel more and more, with deafening sounds of crackers and she will writhe with suffocation and air pollution in the same proportion.
Irony is that, someone else’s entertainment and ball of a time with polluting toys adds to her suffering. Here the sufferer is not the real user. Unlike if someone smokes or drinks alcohol, it is the doer who is sufferer. But here the root cause of her trouble emanates from enjoyment of others.
Every year, Diwali celebrations add to enormous pollution and air becomes thick with smog and suspended particulate matter. It is a cause of breathlessness in children and adults and vulnerable to asthmatic attacks.
Like this one child, there are thousands of them and people from all ages suffer during this season from the thrill of others. These sufferers, who are frustrated due to their plight, with no fault of theirs, have to undergo treatment and see the doctor or visit emergencies of the hospitals. This irresponsible behavior of people puts burden on the medical services and the doctors, who are already overstretched due to workload. But it is only the doctors and nurses, who are available and visible round the clock, whereas people who have polluted the air and the controllers and rulers of the weak medical system are invisible. Patients are discontented, but they catch the glimpse of only doctors and nurses, who are striving hard to comfort them. For many, it is very hard to understand the complexity of the situation. The fact is that these medics are the saviors, who are not with their families on festival, but are there for the patients. But patients many a times, will rather tend to blame the doctors for their sufferings, poor treatment and difficulty in treatment, without realizing that constant pollution is the reason for poor response to treatment.
This kind of understanding and support of patients to doctors is vital and can go long way in improving the doctor patient relationship. But that may be a distant dream.
Why polluting crackers are needed at all. Crackers can be banned altogether, all the days and whole of the year. Can there be non polluting crackers? With advancement in science it should not be a difficult discovery. Why all of us cannot keep in mind the plight of such patients? We should all pledge for eco-friendly and environmentally safe Deepawali.
At this point what court has done is a tough, but correct step that is to ban the crackers. Inconsequential pleasure of some cannot be at the cost of health and life of others.