Last year, a week after Diwali as I entered into the class of my most adorable pre nursery kids, I was surprised to see only 2 kids in class out of 10. Even day care attendance was less by 30%. With festivities long gone by, the reason of such absence was nothing else but fever, cough, cold and in some cases bronchitis. As per doctors on school board the reason for such sudden surge in illness was air that our young toddlers were breathing in. Air was laden with toxic pollutants due to burning of crackers during festival season. Thought of seeing young children coughing endlessly again this year, makes me welcome the recent ban by supreme court on sale of crackers on Diwali. Many among us would feel let down as since long we have associated celebration of Diwali festival with burning of crackers. However it is time we change our perspective for better and safe future of our kids.
Here are some ways in which you and your kids could celebrate Diwali with as much fervor and enthusiasm but without crackers:
- Decorate your house with beautiful Rangolis, house décor items and homemade torans. Kids can be engaged in making torans out of waste art material. Painting of diyas in beautiful colors can add to enthusiaism.
- Cleanliness is next to Godliness. Help your kids clean their rooms during Diwali break and decorat it with colorful torans, home made lanterns or simple led lights
- Diwali signifies victory of Goodness. Encourage your children to share their goodies with less privileged kids. Visit to an NGO would surely add to the emotion around this festival.
- No festivity is complete without sweets. Simple sweets can be made at home. Mithai like besan ke laddoo can be made with active participation from your 8 to 10 yr old kid. Other sweets that can be prepared at home are kheer, halwa, gujia and many more. It is best to avoid sweets from local mithai shops around this time of festival. In Gurgaon there are many bakers who provide home made mithai and sweets for gifting purpose.
- Diwali is an excellent time to reinforce value of family and love. Burn old grudges and embrace even your enemies. Make the festival a remembrance by ensuring that you meet and personally greet at least all members of your extended family. Spread energies of love and warmth that even your children will be quick to catch.
- Lastly take out time from all the running around and spend some time with your kids explaining the essence of the festival. Reinforcing victory of good over evil.
It would be great if we could associate Diwali celebrations with sharing of love and warmth rather than mindless cracker bursting.