While Delhi’s air quality post-Diwali is only marginally better than last year, the Supreme Court ban on the sale of firecrackers in Delhi-NCR has proven to be a boon for the capital’s strays and birds. According to 24-year-old Anjana Passi, who works at animal shelter Friendicoes, “no wounded or burnt dogs and cats have come to the shelter so far”. “Last year, there were 10-12 cases of animals being wounded because of crackers. This year, we haven’t got a single case so far. The ban on firecrackers has been good for animals…,” she said.
At Chandni Chowk’s Jain Bird Hospital, there has been a considerable slump in the number of cases of injured birds this Diwali compared to last year. “Every year, we get about 350-400 wounded birds… firecrackers either leave them breathless, give them infections or burn their wings. This year, the number is 177. On Diwali night, we only got five injured birds,” Sunil Kumar Jain, manager of the charity hospital, said.
Ravi Dubey, president of People For Animals (Faridabad), said, “This year has been easier. We rescued a puppy and a baby monkey from two colonies in Faridabad — both injured by crackers. Last year, the number was eight.”
Stating that many animals are affected by the pollution post Diwali, a member of Wildlife SOS said, “Last year, we rescued a peacock that was injured after it bumped into something due to the smog. We have no cases so far this year, but we should wait another day or two to get a right picture.”