Millions of Indians Break World Record for Diwali Celebration Amid Air Quality Concerns

Millions of Indians Break World Record for Diwali Celebration Amid Air Quality Concerns
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Indi¬≠ans set a daz¬≠zling Guin¬≠ness World Record by light¬≠ing over 2.22 mil¬≠lion earth¬≠en oil lamps dur¬≠ing the Diwali cel¬≠e¬≠bra¬≠tion at Saryu Riv¬≠er in Ayo¬≠d¬≠hya, Uttar Pradesh. 

Despite con­cerns about air pol­lu­tion, devo­tees kept the lamps burn­ing for 45 min­utes, sym­bol­iz­ing the vic­to­ry of light over dark­ness. The event was graced by the pres­ence of Yogi Adityanath, the state’s top elect­ed official.

The mas¬≠sive light¬≠ing cer¬≠e¬≠mo¬≠ny was orga¬≠nized with the help of over 24,000 vol¬≠un¬≠teers, pre¬≠dom¬≠i¬≠nant¬≠ly col¬≠lege stu¬≠dents. The Diwali cel¬≠e¬≠bra¬≠tion, a nation¬≠al hol¬≠i¬≠day in India, is known for its vibrant lights, social¬≠iz¬≠ing, and exchang¬≠ing gifts. 

The evening is ded­i­cat­ed to a spe­cial prayer for the Hin­du god­dess Lak­sh­mi, asso­ci­at­ed with pros­per­i­ty and good fortune.

While wor­ries about air qual­i­ty loomed over the fes­tiv­i­ties, unex­pect­ed rain and strong winds improved the sit­u­a­tion tem­porar­i­ly, bring­ing the pol­lu­tion lev­els down to 220 on the air qual­i­ty index. How­ev­er, experts antic­i­pate a surge in air pol­lu­tion after the cel­e­bra­tions due to the cus­tom­ary use of fireworks.

In an effort to com¬≠bat the coun¬≠try‚Äôs alarm¬≠ing air pol¬≠lu¬≠tion lev¬≠els, offi¬≠cials in New Del¬≠hi took pre¬≠ven¬≠tive mea¬≠sures by shut¬≠ting down schools and impos¬≠ing restric¬≠tions on pol¬≠lut¬≠ing vehi¬≠cles and con¬≠struc¬≠tion work. 

Water sprin­klers and anti-smog guns were deployed to con­trol the haze, and res­i­dents sought refuge in masks. New Del­hi, noto­ri­ous for its poor air qual­i­ty, espe­cial­ly dur­ing the win­ter sea­son, faces addi­tion­al chal­lenges from the burn­ing of crop residues in neigh­bor­ing states.

To address the issue, some Indi¬≠an states have banned the sale of fire¬≠works and encour¬≠aged the use of ‚Äúgreen crack¬≠ers‚ÄĚ that emit few¬≠er pol¬≠lu¬≠tants. How¬≠ev¬≠er, com¬≠pli¬≠ance with these mea¬≠sures has been incon¬≠sis¬≠tent in the past.

This year‚Äôs Diwali cel¬≠e¬≠bra¬≠tions held par¬≠tic¬≠u¬≠lar sig¬≠nif¬≠i¬≠cance as author¬≠i¬≠ties pre¬≠pared to inau¬≠gu¬≠rate a long-await¬≠ed tem¬≠ple ded¬≠i¬≠cat¬≠ed to the Hin¬≠du god Ram at the site of the demol¬≠ished Babri mosque in Ayodhya. 

The demo­li­tion of the mosque in 1992 ignit­ed wide­spread Hin­du-Mus­lim vio­lence, result­ing in thou­sands of deaths. The Supreme Court’s ver­dict in 2019 paved the way for the con­struc­tion of the Ram temple.

Despite con­cerns about air pol­lu­tion, mil­lions of Indi­ans came togeth­er for Diwali Cel­e­bra­tion, break­ing a world record and spread­ing joy and light dur­ing this aus­pi­cious festival.

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