Many schools across urban India have taken an oath from their students to discourage them from bursting crackers and enjoy a safe and an eco-friendly Diwali.
"Although there has been a rise of 10 to 15 per cent in crackers' prices, the decline in their demand is majorly attributed to growing awareness among children who have vowed to abide by their oaths to shun firecrackers," Assocham Secretary General D S Rawat said.
The survey covered 150 schools and over 1,000 school children at cities like Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Bhopal, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kanpur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, Patna, Pune and Surat.
It also drew responses from 200 traders, retail and wholesale firecrackers' dealers to ascertain the market scenario at the aforesaid locations.
Growing environmental awareness and restrictions by the local administration together with strict licensing norms are other key factors that have led to a gradual slump in demand- sale of firecrackers during Diwali over the years, the survey pointed out.
Illegal imports of firecrackers from China are further hurting the profit margins of the industry as they are eating into their share of revenue, it found.
According to estimates, India's firecracker industry is worth over Rs 1,500 crore. The town of Sivakasi in Tamil Nadu alone accounts for over 90 per cent of fireworks production in the country with over 9,000 units in both organised and unorganised sectors.