Photos and interviews
by Kenesha Fraser

Every year there are numerous complaints about banned firecrackers being used at Diwali time, but the practice continues. This year after more of the same we asked some residents of the Essequibo Coast how they felt about these items being used. Their comments follow:

20131111chungieChungie Persaud, vendor – ‘I think that the firecrackers should not be associated with any holiday. They are dangerous because they can cause fires and injuries. I was affected on the night of Diwali by the noise. I thought it was gunshots firing off with the amount of noise that I heard. I heard of persons who were injured by these squibs and firecrackers so I think the police should patrol the road and charge those who are using the squibs and firecrackers. They have to patrol the road on Christmas and New Year’s Eve.’






20131111kenrickKenrick Atkinson, electrician – ‘Squibs and firecrackers take away from the celebration of Diwali. For example, if somebody was driving their car and persons are spinning steel wool and lighting explosives, the steel wool could get in the car and cause a fire. I was injured in 2009. I got burned by a steel wool and it took long to heal. The police should pick up the persons who are involved in these activities and they should spend at least three weeks in the lockup because everybody got money and could pay their way out.’






20131111lalitaLalita Devi Bhodram, sales representative – ‘I think that squibs and bombs are not okay, but the ones [fireworks] that you can hold in your hands are okay. I celebrated Diwali and the noise affected me but not to that extent. The police should move to stop it. These things shouldn’t be available on the market. Diwali is all about lighting the diyas and not the squibs.’






20131111keenashaKeenasha Lall, sales clerk – ‘I am a Hindu and I did celebrate Diwali. I think the noise during Diwali is too much. The firecrackers can cause harm and damage to persons. It can also cause fires. Persons are not using the firecrackers for its purpose. They are throwing it on each other and it’s like a game to them but in the end persons get injured. I would say that the police should get out there and warn persons and penalize them for the usage and possession of firecrackers. The flares and sparkles can be acceptable for Diwali but they also need to be used in an open area because fire can be caused, which can leave persons homeless.’






20131111michaelMichael Wilson, bartender – ‘I don’t think it is right for firecrackers to be used. I don’t celebrate Diwali and last year I got some burns on my back and they took about three months to heal. I was affected by the noise this year and it was annoying. Diwali won’t be boring if squibs are taken away because it is about lighting of diyas. The police should get rid of the squibs and firecrackers and they should arrest the persons who are engaged in such activities.’






20131111rudraRudra Persaud, checker – ‘Squibs are not to be used during Diwali. The noise is too much and it affects animals and human beings. I celebrated Diwali and I played with the hand flares and sparkles. The police should arrest all who are involved in the illegal activity and charge them. I know many persons who were injured by firecrackers and that should not be so. Squibs are very dangerous and we have to be careful how we use them or rather nobody should have access to them.’






20131111steadmanSteadman Vanslutyman, labourer – ‘Firecrackers are quite all right but we just have to be careful how we use them. The steel wool is a bit dangerous and can cause burns. The noise is sometimes too much and if there is a family with a small child nearby this can affect the child. The police should warn persons about the use of squibs and bombs and if they don’t adhere they should be charged.’






20131111chenobieChenobie Jupiter, vendor – ‘I could recall when I was younger, we used to have fun walking the road and admiring the decorated houses without the fear of having squibs thrown at us. At present it’s different because in Charity, you have to wonder if you are with Al Qaeda or in Iraq, with the bombs and the squibs.  The police should be more stringent on this matter.’






20131111rahulRahul Roopnarine, bond clerk – ‘Squibs and firecrackers are dangerous and can cause serious injury to persons. The police should be more vigilant with the persons engaged in these activities. Squibs are not a part of the Diwali celebration. And if these things are removed, it will not make the holiday boring, but better.’






20131111jermainJermain Godette, barber – ‘I think that firecrackers and squibs are very disturbing and dangerous. These things cause injuries that can take very long to heal and they affect humans as well as animals. These explosives should definitely be banned so persons in society wouldn’t be tempted to use them. Our policemen and women should be able to stamp out these illegal products entirely before something fatal happens that we all will regret.’

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