Fire cracker tragedies crying for
The death of a five- year-old girl in a fire cracker
blast recently helps focus on a problem that has been growing
surreptitiously and steadily. Gone are the days when firing
crackers was well and truly child’s play. Today, one could be
playing with one’s life when one lights a fire cracker and
what’s worse one could be exposing the lives of others to grave
dangers too by doing so.
The sad and tragic death of little Avindathi Thatsarani who
was only a bystander at an occasion where fire crackers were
lit, proves the point. In fact the victim was some 30 metres
away from the explosion.
It is plain to see that what passes off as ‘innocent fun’
could have very grave repercussions. How did this come to be so?
Years ago, children could with relative security engage in
firing crackers on festive and other relevant occasions.
There were the occasional mishaps, of course, but there was
no question of a person paying with his or her life for
indulging in these understandable childhood thrills. Today, the
consequences could be very grim for a person giving in to these
However, a further issue to be addressed is whether even an
onlooker of these once harmless engagements could any longer
consider himself free of risks. Apparently, the material out of
which these crackers are manufactured today is so lethal that
even onlookers cannot consider themselves safe. For instance,
Avindathi was only an onlooker of the revelry and she was
several metres away from the action. There is certainly an
explosive charge in some of these fire crackers which is
This is food for thought for the authorities. How is it that
fire cracker manufacturers are now in a position to churn out
these deadly wares with what seems to be a high explosive
charge? Are they in a position to engage in a manufacturing
process which has grave repercussions for humans? Could they
manufacture these fire crackers without reference to any
standard safety requirements?
These questions should engage the attention of the
authorities and other responsible sections if tragedies of the
kind which befell Avindathi are to be avoided. We believe the
entire fire cracker manufacturing industry should come under
closer supervision of the government to ensure the safety of the
people. These manufacturing concerns must be required to measure
up to specified standards which render their goods harmless and
not destructive of life.
Besides, a legal regime should come into existence to ensure
that those who act in violation of these standards are taken to
task and rendered accountable for their actions.
We believe the time is ripe to bring back the ‘innocence’ to
the childhood thrill of firing crackers rather than make it an
activity which is fraught with grave risks for the human and
other living beings.
Over the years it may have been noted, that fire crackers are
being used extravagantly, carelessly and irrationally. They are
used with hardly a care for public safety on every occasion that
is considered ‘big’ and this is a disastrous trend that needs to
be arrested without further delay. We wonder whether the
occasions on which fire crackers could be lit could be carefully
spelt out by the state? There is certainly no need to make the
metropolis and towns ‘volley and thunder’ with the sound of fire
crackers on every ‘big’ occasion.
More human-friendly and civilized ways of celebrating these
occasions should be devised. This should be particularly so, if
the events concerned are of a political nature.
There is an unfortunate tendency among the more unrefined and
uncultured in society to go in for loud celebrations and such
occasions are marked by the nonchalant firing of deafening fire
crackers, which, one suspects, carry an excess of explosive
material which could endanger human and other life forms.
Over the past couple of decades these practices have
increased in frequency and dangerousness. We need hardly say
that no festive occasion is free of fire cracker casualties.
Therefore, the time is more than ripe to bring the fire cracker
industry under closer state scrutiny and regulation. The public
interest should be considered prime.