Sales of fire crackers in the country's metros have declined by around 25 percent this season due to a campaign launched by over 150 schools, a survey said Thursday.
As part of the survey, conducted by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) between Oct 1 and 30, over a thousand children were interviewed in over 150 schools in cities like Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Hyderabad and Kolkata.
"Many schoolchildren have decided to stay away from bursting crackers and instead indulge in a smoke-free and safe Diwali this year influenced by anti-cracker campaigns launched by their schools," said D.S. Rawat, secretary general of Assocham.
"Though, there has been a general rise of 10-15 percent in cracker prices, the decline in their demand is being majorly attributed to growing awareness amid children," added Rawat.
The survey said various activities were carried out in schools to educate and explain to the children the ill-effects of bursting fire crackers on their health as well as the environment.
"Majority of the schools have conducted 'oath ceremonies' wherein students in their morning assembly prayers have vowed not to add to the growing levels of pollution around them with crackers," said the survey.
Assocham also interacted with around 200 traders, and retail and wholesale fire cracker dealers in the same cities who blamed the steep rise in the cost of fire crackers as the primary reason behind the dull business.
Illegal imports of fire crackers from China are further hurting the profit margins of the traders.The domestic fire cracker industry is estimated to be worth over Rs.1,500 crore, said the commerce chamber.