Do you love firing rockets every year during the loud, raucous celebration that Diwali has come to be in India? It may hardly cross our minds, but these whizzing rockets are responsible for scaring and potentially causing grievous harm to various bird species and arboreal animals. And, sound bombs which are mandatory in that one night of high-decibel celebrations, add to the havoc created to the already-scared wildlife that hold on to a tenuous existence in most urban areas.
Animals have an acute sense of hearing, far greater than our limited capabilities. Most crackers might actually sound like a big bomb, scaring them, and often contributing to their death. With streets full of excited children accompanied by equally excited parents who prefer to burst crackers in open areas, wild animals, pets and farm animals have no place to hide, no place to run and no alternative but to cower in fear.
Let us remember that for animals, crackers are not a cause of celebration. They are a cause of extreme distress and panic, leading to injuries, long-lasting debilitating fears and even death. This Diwali, let us tone down our excitement, share our space with wildlife and offer them respite. They might just make it through without permanent scars.
Diwali is a festival of lights – let us keep it that way and not convert it into a festival of sound.