Diwali is a celebration of good over evil across India, many parts of Asia and the world, highlighted by days of food, festivities and fireworks among friends and families. However, it is also contentiously, a time of intense sound and noise pollution, causing hardships to animals and humans alike from the overdose of sound and light, across the days this celebration is celebrated.
While there have been many attempts to tone down the pollution caused by the celebrations and firecrackers, their impact has been limited. To try and keep the spirit of the celebration (firecrackers and one too many Indian sweets) intact, Gram Art Project, an artistes collective in India has instead spent a few weeks teaching women across Paradsinga village, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, to devise cracker look-alikes from waste paper, with seeds embedded in it.
Besides the firecracker pollution angle, a range of Indian sweets/desserts look alikes also addresses farming practices across Indian agriculture. While there has been a a push to invest in crops such as wheat and sugarcane, activists have pointed out that these crops require too much water to be viable (a scarce commodity in India), and Indian farmer should consider more environment-friendly alternatives.
To try to promote these alternatives, Gram Art's artisans have designed a series of faux Indian sweets, which when planted, actually sprout into a range of vegetable plants. Rather than lighting firecrackers and adding to pollution, consumers need to sow and water them and watch them grow. The seeds are available on 21fools, an Indian ecommerce platform.
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