08/11/2016 8:05 PM IST | Updated 08/11/2016 8:38 PM IST

No Firecrackers On Gurupurab: Sikh Body Breaks From Tradition To Help Clean Up Delhi Air


Hindustan Times via Getty Images
Sikh martial art student ready for the participating in Gurupurab Procession on the eve of birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev ji at Gurudwara Sis Ganj Sahib Chandhi Chowk on November 24, 2015 in New Delhi, India.

Days after a thick, yellowish haze blanketed the national capital, triggering panic response from institutions and residents, and boosting the sale of masks and purifiers, a religious body has taken the decision to abstain from fireworks while celebrating its biggest days.

The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Committee will not burst firecrackers to celebrate Gurupurab, the celebration of the births of Sikh Gurus, as a step towards curbing pollution and inspiring others to do the same. The incessant bursting of firecrackers for over 24 hours during Diwali added to the worst smog the national capital has seen in years.

"We have decided not to burn any firecrackers this year on Gurpurab which is celebrated by the Sikh community like Diwali. The decision of DSGMC will be conveyed to all 700 Singh Sabhas who will spread the message to all Gurdwaras in Delhi and hence the community associated with those Gurdwaras will also become aware of the decision. The idea is to spread awareness about the need to focus on environment-friendly ways to celebrate a festival," DSGMC president Manjeet Singh told Times of India.

The situation has been so dire that schools have been forced to shut in Delhi for a couple of days to allow children to remain home as a dull yellowish smog hung in the air day and night. Many residents complained of burning eyes and difficulty in breathing.

Masks will also be available at Guruswaras in Bangla Saheb near Connaught Place and Sisganj in Chandni Chowk, Singh said.