The outbreak of the COVID-19 Novel Corona Virus Pandemic, has changed the way we go about our daily lives. We are living in what is called the "new normal" and people are just adapting to a lot of changes, on the go! The Corona Virus has not yet been eradicated but the lockdown restriction are being lifted, to ensure that the economy does not fall, even further. However, there are a few regions of India, where the new infections are on a surge and the respective state governments have imposed strict restrictions to prevent any further surge. Kerala, one of the states which had the spread under control initially, is now seeing a major surge in new COVID cases, ever since the Onam festival. Now, with the festival season fast approaching across India, many states have imposed strict restrictions on their people, to avoid any further surge of COVID cases!

Recently, the government of Rajasthan imposed a blanket ban on the sale, purchase or bursting of firecrackers, in any part of the state. Following Rajasthan, the Odisha government too, imposed a similar ban and speculations are that a few other states might also follow suit. Though these preventive measures have been taken for the welfare of the people of their state, it bodes ill for the people of Sivakasi district in Tamil Nadu. Deepavali, the festival of lights is one of the biggest and most widely celebrated festivals, across India! Celebrating the victory of good over evil, the people celebrate this festival by lighting lamps and bursting crackers to herald the dawn of good. Sivakasi, from the south of Tamil Nadu, manufactures over 90% of the total crackers and fireworks, manufactured across India. The ban on the sale, purchase and bursting of firecrackers would mean that the people of Sivakasi would not have any income this year and all the stocks that they have manufactured, will have to remain in storage.

Considering all this, the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu - Edappadi K Palaniswami, has penned letters to his counterparts in Rajasthan and Odisha. In these letters, he has requested them to reconsider the ban on firecrackers, considering the livelihood of the manufacturers from Sivakasi. EPS has also reiterated that the crackers manufactured in Sivakasi are majorly "green crackers" and do not affect the environment in any way. He has also added that there is no empirical data that the bursting of crackers would cause the spread of COVID. The letters written to Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot and Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik, also mention that the cracker business in TN provides direct employment to 4 lakh people and indirectly supports the income of another equal number of people. EPS had written, "Their livelihood solely depends on the sale of crackers during the Deepavali season. The ban on bursting crackers in your state can have a direct bearing on the livelihood of over 8 lakh workers in the state of Tamil Nadu and another equal number of people engaged in its sale." Let's hope the CMs reconsider their decisions. Stay tuned for updates...