Diwali, the Indian festival of lights, has arrived. More than just the array of lights that bring happiness to every home, the sky is reverberating with the sound of crackers. As per estimates, the country burns hundreds of thousands of rupees on firecrackers every Diwali season.
India is the second biggest producer of fireworks after China, and most of it is for domestic consumption. Nearly 400 manufacturers cater to the growing demand, and the turnover is mammoth in terms of business worth nearly Rs 2000 crore. The fact is that fireworks produced for almost the whole year are mostly consumed within a single night on Diwali.
As part of the their green Diwali campaign, CSS Corp called on employees to have a rethink on their festival strategy. The call for a green Diwali has been seeing good results, with CSS Corp employees wholeheartedly exchanging ideas of how to spend a clean, green Diwali.
According to Veerasundar Veluswamy, EVP & Chief Financial Officer, CSS Corp is confident that the campaign will raise awareness of the impact that our individual choices can have. “The mad rush to buy gold, diamonds and products that is typical of our consumerist society is as far removed from the essence of Lakshmi as possible. Real wealth is from leaving a lasting legacy of pure air, water and forests for our future generations. In just a couple of days our country will burn nearly Rs 2000 crore on firecrackers! We are encouraging employees to use traditional diyas (lamps), avoid buying crackers and give eco-friendly gifts. Not just during Diwali, but throughout the year we focus on green initiatives through CSS Corp Foundation, the CSR arm of CSS Corp.”
The campaign is a step towards helping India avoid Diwali celebrations environmental hangover. Shivi Kalia, Sr. Director, HR, CSS Corp believes that, “we will put even greater thought and imagination into our diwali preparations this year. From making rangolis of bird seed to buying eco-friendly products, doing things differently will not only save money and have a positive environmental impact, it will also change our mindset, and that of people associated with us.”
Other companies have also urged a greener, noise free celebration. Pruthvi Nanjappa, Vice President Human Resources, Ness Software Engineering Services said, this Diwali as we celebrate the festival of lights, we are encouraging all employees to adopt a greener approach to mark the festivities! Use decorative diyas and if employees have access to green products, they can market them internally within the company. In the spirit of a cleaner, greener India, we are also ensuring that the Diwali gifts that we give employees this year come wrapped in paper and jute bags. However these initiatives aren’t just restricted to the festive season.
Shivoo Koteshwar, Director Engineering, Mediatek, revealed that his company is taking the green agenda very seriously. The company has many initiatives planned for this Diwali to ensure its eco-friendly. We are encouraging our partners and our staff not to send out printed Diwali greetings instead switch to e-greetings and also look at green alternatives for gifting – like a plant sapling. We are also encouraging our staff to take a pledge of celebrating a no noise Diwali by not bursting crackers which create noise and air pollution. They are also being encouraged to contribute to a social cause – like for example the hurricane relief in Vishakhpatnam or sponsor an entire day for an orphanage or an old age home. In addition, many employee engagement programs like rangoli competition, bay decoration among others”.
Viva Kermani, Independent Consultant, Environmental Professional, stated that Diwali is an integral part of our culture and tradition .This year we encourage our employees to celebrate this festival in its true tradition of lighting earthen lamps and buying sustainability.
Srikanth BR, Delivery Manager, Infosys, said he would like to wish all a very happy green Diwali. I think the only way we can achieve it is through – following the 3 Rs. Reduce – the already high pollution levels (air and noise) by not bursting fireworks which are not cleared by the pollution board. Refuse – to buy and burst expensive loud crackers; instead please spend time at an old age home or orphanage; they will bring you a brighter and a greater happiness . Rethink – not once but many times to ensure we don’t succumb to the desire to go and buy toxic crackers for you and your family.
Adnan Chara, Vice President – Gaming, Toys & Telecom – Mitashi Edutainment Pvt. Ltd, said “We have all decided to do away with synthetic room fresheners and use organic incense sticks and fresh flowers to create fragrance impact that one associates with Pooja at our office. The Pooja lunch at office will not be served on crockery but we will be using banana leaves and earthen pots for serving traditional drinks.”
With corporate majors taking the lead, this time around India can look forward to a noise free, smoke free green Diwali. Aren’t you too getting into an eco-friendly celebration mode? Tell us how.
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