Fire incidents in Thar: Causes and Implications!

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Shewa Ram Suthar
In the hot summer when storms start with high winds, there is always bad news in the Thar desert. Often the incidence of fires is very high these days of summer from April to July. Experts say it is a man-made disaster that leads to irresponsibility or negligence but in reality, no one wants their house to catch fire but coincidently many incidents occur each year and as a result, the many houses in the cluster caught fires in which their valuables like gold, silver, food ration, sheep, goats, and domestic animals are burnt to ashes. Every year in the Thar there are great losses from fire incidents, which makes their lives more difficult. Current and last year, the pandemic has ended their earning source and the above with that the fire incidents put Tharis in more trouble. There are many important reasons behind the usual fire incidents in the Thar desert, the first of which comes their way of living standard If we look at quality life of Tharis a few decades ago there was no practice of locally-built fences around the houses then over time, as the population grew, it became customary to grow the practice of local wooden fences in the desert in which they began to occupy rural communal land of the village and started local fencing. Since then, wooden Chounra in most houses in Thar has been used as kitchens that were started for cooking due to which the number of fire incidents in Thar increased day by day. The second big reason for fire incidents is the extraction of honey, If we consider the direction of the wind during the extraction of honey, we can avoid major fire incidents, But negligence of one person always puts another person in great trouble. Another reason for continuous fires in the desert is cooking under the open sky or in wooden structured chounra. At the village level, we need to use and make energy stoves and secondly, the pieces of coal or fire flames are treated with water to prevent any damage. One of the reasons for the fire is cigarettes or broken cigarette butts. Some children do such kind of activity in the villages, these children try to smoke a butt of a cigarette due to which most of the fire incidents occurred in Thar areas. If anyone smokes, he needs to be very careful especially in the desert area. After smoking, the cigarette should be well-drained so that no child can misuse these cigarette butts. Most local shopkeepers should also be careful and do not give cigarettes or matchboxes to any children we need to fully take care of that. Fire incidents throughout the desert are also caused by broken pieces of glasses or a thick mirror in the village. Most villagers throw empty medicine bottles over their houses which reveal rays of the extremely dark sun, which can occur in the event of reflection or flames. To prevent this, everyone has to be careful to avoid such fire incidents. One of the major causes of fire incidents is the burning of garbage in the village due to strong winds; they fall directly into their wood fence or in other wooden houses. Due to which large-scale fire incidents occur, we can avoid such incidents if we properly dispose of trash at a central location outside the village. Even in the 21st century, we are still living with the old tolerance we use fewer matchboxes and more flames to burn our stoves. Villagers who sell petrol at village shops also play an important role in the fire incidents which caused a lot of economic losses in the Thar area. More alarmingly, many fire incidents in the Thar areas are caused by the sparking of low-quality electric wires, many people use illegal connections to misuse the electricity. Until we improve our attitudes and behaviours we will definitely continue to suffer such losses we are first and foremost responsible for the losses done in Thar. Even today in Thar the practice of playing cards “Taash” still continues from dawn to dust and at the same moment burning one cigarette with another is also a common practice in these areas.