How Green is Your Deepavali?

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Read on to find ways to ensure a safe and sweet celebration this year.
Published : 1st November 2018
By Ritu Maria Johny

CHENNAI: The festival of lights is right around the corner but we have reached a point where festivals have come to destroy life, instead of celebrating it, by causing irreparable damage to the environment, humans and animals.

Firecrackers sound a death knell to our surroundings and unsuspecting animals. The body language of animals during this time of the year is quite evidently that of cowering in fear, with their tails between their legs and unable to stand the din.

Dogs and cats have highly sensitive hearing abilities, precisely why the loud bursts are literally nerve-racking. Dogs may display symptoms of shivering, drooling, howling and excessive barking. Some suffer from loss of bladder control and temporary diarrhea. Vets caution that a sudden exposure to bright light can result in partial or permanent blindness. On top of that, there has been a rise in inhuman instances where an animal is tied to a firecracker with individuals deriving some sadistic pleasure out of it.

The deafening crackers and resulting pollution affects the bird population also, forcing them to fly out of their shelters for safety. There is also a superstition of sacrificing owls during Diwali to usher in wealth, despite the Wildlife Protection Act, 1960 that lists killing of owls as a punishable offence.

The recent Supreme Court verdict limiting the time of bursting crackers and propagating the use of ‘green’ crackers is a step in the right direction. But, the need of the hour is the strict implementation of the ruling, coupled with awareness and swift action against the violators. This has to be encouraged from the very basic level of within your immediate community.

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Seed bomb is a great way to involve kids in the fight to nurture nature. They make for a perfect gift for the holiday season, by contributing to a greener environment. These seed balls are now available in packaged form on several online platforms too. Making these yourself at home is easy by using seeds that belong to local plants (flowers, herbs, vegetables, fruit-bearing trees, etc.) which naturally grow in the region.

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This season also reverberates with the aroma of ghee-based rava laddoos, mysore pak to adhirasams, coconut barfis and ras malai wafting through the air. Evenings at popular shopping hubs are usually thronged with Deepavali enthusiasts. You will be left spoilt for choice at our top three picks for authentic Deepavali delicacies :


SRI KRISHNA SWEETS
The famous sweet shop usually has happy hours when customers can avail 10 per cent discount on sweets purchased from 6 am to 10 pm. Their Deepavali specials include cashew bites and badam halwa. They also have more than 70 varieties of karas (savouries), while Mysore Pak remains the all-time favourite.

THE GRAND SWEETS AND SNACKS
There is always a huge demand for their specialty, adhirasam, which is prepared the traditional way. You can also get your hands on the Grand Sweets assortment box of lip-smacking sweets.

ADYAR ANAND BHAVAN
Receiving bulk orders for their hot sellers, which are malai peda, coconut barfi and paneer jamun, they also stock assorted gift boxes ranging from Rs 500 to Rs 2,500.