By D N Singh
What has happened during the last Diwali -celebration did speak how a frenzied mind-set consumes our sense of sanity.
In almost all the cities, poor and rich regardless, the sane advice of the Supreme Court was dumped in the back-burner and rode roughshod through mindless bursting of crackers.
Let alone the blame game of certain parties or parties provoking bursting of crackers, as in case of Delhi, the damage is done. It has already added to the woes of the vicious load of air pollution, and has further exacerbated the situation impacting humans and even animals.
There is no state where the violations have not been done. Pathetic that the states have not even issued any advisory as an appeal to abhor busting of crackers that doubles the air pollution.
Delhi was practically choked and the sights of the city in the day next requires no description as what a sad spectacle the frenzy of crackers dawned in the air making meat morphed into evenings. .
Some could not see ever
Believe it or not 13 people, including 10 kids, in Rajasthan lose eyesight due to firecracker accidents. That is only as per available data let alone other many incidents that inflicted injuries and so on.
Did not spare animals even
Bursting of firecrackers on Diwali that caused noise and air pollution has started showing up in animals too.
Dog rescuers are witnessing a massive surge in distress phone calls over the past couple of days, as concerned owners reach out for assistance with lost, sick, or injured dogs.
Beastly sadistic pleasure
“Someone had tied fireworks to the dog’s tail and set them off. The dog’s tail had to be surgically amputated this morning as it suffered serious injuries on its entire tail,” said N.N. Verma, a veterinarian.
This is one among many such cases that take place in and around Diwali every year and is only one of the ways in which dogs are harmed by the cacophony of light and sound that ensues.
Not only that, the price of such derisive minds send the birds to a state of stupor and suffer incurable shock.
Verma said that not only stray dogs, but also pets go through severe trauma due to the loud firecrackers. This year, shelter homes and rescue agencies have received a large number of calls, reporting missing pets and stray dogs from owners and community caretakers.
“My friend’s dog in Gomti Nagar ran away when the firecrackers began and is still missing. There are several other cases,” said Verma.
According to animal welfare experts, dogs, with their sensitive hearing, are able to sense sounds at -5 and -15 dBs on average (something inaudible to the human ear). The noise-emitting firecrackers are at 125 dBs, which becomes extremely difficult for the animals to bear. This could even lead to irreversible hearing loss.
Veterinarian and senior manager of the street dog program, Dr. Sanjay, said, “Amidst the vibrant festivities of Diwali, street dogs everywhere face challenges. The loud noises and bright lights scare them and heighten their anxiety. Community caretakers have, on instances, found strays in hiding with burn injuries on their bodies. Breathing in the chemical fumes can make them sick.”
“We have seen Diwali injuries in the past where entire body parts of the dogs have been blown off, some inflicted intentionally, some unintentionally,” said another vet at an animal clinic in Bhubaneswar.
Diwali tends to be a truly traumatic time for animals, pets or stray animals. The tragedy is that many such cases go unreported as well.
Displacement and missing cases are highest during this time.
Some of the rescues are suffering from food poisoning and severe stomach upset, as they had food off the streets that got mixed with the explosives of fireworks.
It was in Jaipur that total of 13 people, including 10 children, across several cities of Rajasthan including Jaipur, Jhunjhunu, and Bharatpur lost sight in at least one eye while bursting firecrackers on Diwali, doctors said.
This figure was reported after three days of surgery in the eye department of Sawai Mansingh (SMS) Hospital here, with the patients suffering damage to their cornea and retina.
Vision lost forever
Acording to doctors, a child from Jhunjhunu lost the vision in both eyes whereas there are 12 others who have lost the sight of one eye.
According to a report, 40 cases have been reported in three days (Saturday to Monday). Of these, about 25 patients were sent home after first aid. 13 major surgeries have been performed, in which 12 people lost their vision in one eye. At the same time, a case was referred from Jhunjhunu where surgery had to be done on both the eyes of the child, who got injured while setting of a bomb.
During the operation, it was found that his left eye was completely damaged, while an operation was done to save the right eye."
According to the doctor, people get injured by firecrackers in two ways - where a part of the firecracker comes out like a bullet and hits people, and other is by gunpowder burns.
"If a bomb explodes very close, the gunpowder goes into the eyes. There has also been a case of ‘Anaar’ bursting, due to which, the cornea of the eye got burnt. Of the 13 patients, 10 are children. Their age is less than 15 years. There are three adults. All of them have suffered serious injuries. Except for one or two, it is difficult to get the sight back. We have performed operations to preserve the structure of the eyes, so that the faces of the children do not get distorted."
About the Author: DN Singh is a Bhubaneswar-based senior journalist.
DISCLAIMER: This is the personal opinion of the author. The views expressed in this write-up have nothing to do with www.prameyanews.com.