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Environment smiled at inflation this time
By Fahad Khan
This year's Diwali story is no different. Indians enjoyed like they do, celebrated Diwali with much gusto and enthusiasm, distributed sweets, sent text messages, and updated their social media status messages to spread the warm wishes of Diwali celebrations to their friends and family members all across the world. Many used emails and SMS services. While many more called their dear ones. If we had access to this data from telecos we would be amazed to see the rise of telecommunication and thereby its penetration in our social framework. Many have noticed this already and talk openly in social gatherings. I happened to meet one person this Diwali who said it has become more like social obligations. While another person said it is convenient, you are able to spread warm greetings easily without having to meet in person.

So as observed by many, this trend of bringing technology in the so called social fabric continues and seems to grow year on year, but this year we have witnessed some inflationary pressures in the Indian economy. Food prices are increasing while jobs are not growing at the same pace, the average spending of household is decreasing. A recent survey shows that the average savings account of the bank is decreasing month on month. All this points out that savings account is refueling the household economy in narrow perspective.

What has all this got to do with environment? The System of Air quality Forecasting and Research Project, set up in Delhi to monitor weather and pollution, has indicated that although Delhi is going to witness hazy and polluted conditions during the next few days, pollution content in the haze will be relatively less than compared to last year. This seems to be a case in point for almost every major Indian city. SAFAR data has also shown that unlike 2012, there is a huge variability in levels within NCR, which is likely to continue. This year and every other year in past people spent a great deal on fire crackers from their savings or disposable income. In India, the inflation has hit the fire cracker industry too where price of a fire cracker has escalated to more than 30% as compared to previous year.

Families said that they spend almost same as they had spent last year on mobile messages or fire crackers but quantity of fire crackers that they purchased was much less this year. A vendor who had put up a stall for selling fire cracker said that they were able to collect relatively same amount of money like last year but the volume sold was less. In other words, adding up everything the noise of fire crackers was rather not so loud and didn't last much longer. The only silver lining that we have because of inflation would rather be its positive impact on environment. Trees are greener; animals are calmer; bird's chirped normal the next day and air didn't have that after burnt smell that Indians were used to the next day of Diwali.

The author of this article hopes that a day will come when inflation would not be the reason of greener after Diwali but our own conscience. A day is not far away when we realize that our children's future is safe only if we handle today's environment with the care that it deserves.

(The author can be contacted at : workfahad@

News Updated at : Thursday, November 7, 2013
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