Duty and danger: For Delhi’s firefighters, Diwali has a dark side

At 10am on Thursday, seven-year-old Shubhangi Shukla was busy planning her Diwali evening. “We can go to the mall,” she told her mother Pragya Shukla, a homemaker. “And who do you think will take you to the mall,” Pragya asked. The girl stared at the television screen for a while, before declaring, “I know papa will be very busy but the rest of us can at least go to a nearby restaurant.”

Her father, Rajesh Kumar Shukla, is the station house officer at the Connaught Place fire...

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