Saturday, November 5, 2016

Day 5: Doomsday is here!

The smog is Delhi is worse ever in 13 years! This is a picture from 31st Oct 2016 (Photo credit
I had a phone call with my very worried sister yesterday. Her daughters, aged 7 and 10 are both unwell and unable to step out, thanks to the thick smog that has enveloped the city. The schools declared a holiday and the kids are confined to one room where the air purifier ensures that they have some clean air to breathe. Remember the ads we watched on TV that presented a dreary picture of the future for our kids if we did not stop polluting the world? Guess what! That future is finally here! Schools have prescribed masks so that kids can cope with the situation they are in for no fault of theirs.

1800 schools in Delhi were closed - for the first time - due to pollution levels that are now 13 times higher than safe limits. According to an NDTV report:

"Data from the city's pollution monitoring agency showed that concentrations of Particulate Matter or PM 10 (coarser pollutants) was over 1,200 micrograms per cubic metre this morning compared to a safe level of 100 at around 9 am in Delhi's Anand Vihar. PM 2.5, a standard measure of air quality, was as much as 13 times the safe limit."

Kids are the worst affected! (Photo credit)
The smog this year is the worst in 13 years. The major culprits are burning crops, vehicular emissions and of course, crackers during Diwali. As it is winters are a bad time in Delhi when smog cover the city. With this kind of pollution level already present, I wonder how kids are going to survive this. It is worse for kids who already have breathing ailments like asthma etc. I am sure it is hard on the adults and older people too! The noxious fumes have health implications for everyone.

I think we have now arrived at a point where it's no longer a topic to debate on social media. It's no longer about blame game. It's no longer about saying that we can't do without cars, people should stop bursting crackers. It's no longer the time to hope things will be back to normal once the Diwali smog has settled. Or the winters are gone. It is time to make a decision. NOW! Is the inconvenience of giving up cars worse than putting our health and that of our kids' at risk? Is it so important to burst crackers rather than enjoy Diwali in so many other ways there are?

I am sure the current situation in Delhi - other cities aren't any better - has us all thinking about how responsible we need to be from now. We have to decide the kind of world our children are going to inherit from us. We need to think of a long term plan and start working on it immediately.

Meanwhile, here are some tips to help us tide over the hard times for now.

This post is written for the daily blogging challenge #NaBloPoMo by Blogher where I will write one post everyday!

1 comment:

  1. I can only imagine the situation. Even after many campaigns to spread awareness on pollution and health hazards, it is still the same. Hard!