Deepawali, for most communities, is associated with the worship of Goddess Lakshmi. She is the deity, who brings prosperity into the homes and lives of Her devotees. It is said that the goddess of wealth, enters only clean and well-lit homes. And so soon after Navaratri is over, you see a flurry of activity in Indian homes who start the annual ritual of de-cluttering, cleaning and making arrangements to light up their homes with lamps.
If this is indeed the case, should we not be extending this paradigm to our external environment, to our urban and rural landscapes, our forests and water bodies? According to the EPI (Environmental Performance Index) 2019 index, India is ranked 141st among 180 countries worldwide in (EPI), the lowest amongst BRICS countries. It is common knowledge that the state of the economy is closely intertwined with the environment.
If we want Goddess Lakshmi to embrace our country, don’t we have to first clean up our neighbourhoods? Our festivals too need to be celebrated with consciousness. This Diwali, with the air quality already poor, are we going to burn more crackers? And if you do burn a few, what are you going to with that hazardous waste? What kind of decorations are you going to use? What type of lamps will you use? Will you be using re-usables or disposable cutlery at community events?
Do these questions bother your mind? Do you have queries about them? In that case you can get answers for these and more from ‘The Waste Issue’.
This Diwali, if we really want to respect Goddess Lakshmi in – let us understand every action of ours that effects cleanliness. As a spiritual nation, let us first address our ecology spiritually as well as practically. The rivers, lakes, ocean and forests are the deities we need to revere. The towns, metros and villages are the gods we need to care of.
Again, Wishing you a Happy Clean and Green Deepawali from the team of ‘The Waste issue’!