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Inside Story November 2018

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Guard your pets, elders and babies from festive crackers and noise pollution.

Tloud noise and air pollution filled with toxicity caused by firecrackers during Diwali cause acute deafness among many animals and disorientation during the night hours. Birds and animals need to be protected and kept out of the high impact area of the firecrackers. They also need reassurance and extra care from their owners during these days.

So please ensure that you do your bit even if you don't have pets. Decorate with lights, lamps and diyas that are friendlier to the environment and animals. Refrain from bursting crackers near an animal shelter or zoo or housing society. Noise can cause panic and fear even in new born babies. Pollution from burning firecrackers is also harmful to their health.

Due to firecrackers, thousands of animals suffer burns every year from the left over half burned crackers lying around. Furthermore, various animal shelters report a dramatic increase in pets lost during this celebration. It is important to understand that pets like cats and dogs have stronger hearing powers than human beings, making them highly vulnerable to a host of fears, anxieties and health ailments.
1. You should take your pet for walks in the day time before the Diwali celebrations begin, and make sure to keep your pet away from the fireworks. 2. At time of Diwali celebration, you should keep your pet indoor and in a familiar room. Pets have a heightened sense of hearing so the loud noises cause them to dart around the house or flee in search of safe haven. 3.Close all the windows and doors so as to lessen the noise of crackers and keep your pet supplied with sufficient food and water. Further, you can increase the volume on the television to help mask the sounds of fireworks. 4. Don't let pets sniff your stock of fireworks or Diwali sweets. Keep your fireworks in a closed box, somewhere cool and dry, out of reach of your pets. Locking away your fireworks is the best option. 5. If your pet is prone to acute distress or anxiety, check for veterinarian’s availability beforehand, in case the need arises. 6. Your pet can escape or dart away from the dog parks due to the anxiety or fear caused by the cracker noise, therefore, make your pet wear a name tag with your phone number, so that someone can bring them back to you. 7. Don't shout or punish your pets for running for safety or getting hysterical. 8. Don’t leave the door ajar, also try to close the bedroom doors to protect your furry friend from the loud noise. You can also play soft music to soothe your pet and make them feel safe. You will have to hug them during continuous rage of fireworks bombardment.

Think of the elders, babies and pets while you celebrate an eco friendly Diwali this season. Happy Diwali.

(Elsie Gabriel is an award winning post graduate certified Green Teacher and Environmental Law expert. With twenty years of writing experience she has travelled to remote corners of the earth researching, photographing, documenting facts that bind the threads of anthropological wonder. Powai runs in her veins)