Why Don’t We Take Air Pollution Seriously?

air pollution in delhi akash

According to a study, exposure to polluted air kills 1.67 million Indians every year. That’s more than cancer and alcohol related deaths, 780k and 140k respectively, combined! Yet, it’s ironic that nobody gives a damn about the glaring air problem.

People adjust, aka, “chalta hai”, news channels don’t cover it well since there’s no TRP, and netas don’t have pollution on priority. At this rate, one may consider taking refuge in a clean country, like Sweden, France or perhaps, Canada!?

In Delhi-NCR, there is a constant need to stay indoors (this year especially due to the pandemic) or otherwise to beat the scorching July sun and then in winters to breathe fresh air because the air outside is literally poison!

The worst part of all is that the government hasn’t been able to figure out the root cause of winter pollution. Some say, it’s the dust from construction, others call it stubble burning, then there are those who blame winter weddings and festivals like Dussehra and Diwali.

Since it seems like the pollution problem is here to stay for-ever, wouldn’t it be wise for one to become an “environmental refugee” in a foreign nation, if that’s possible!? One may thus be called “anti-national” for running away like that but the fact remains: people are losing at least 10 years of their lives due to substandard air in Delhi!

One of the major causes behind unresolved winter pollution is the continuous conflict between the three parties in the said region: BJP at the center and in the state of Haryana, Congress in Punjab and AAP in Delhi. The three enroll in an annual blame-game while ignoring the issue altogether!

The other cause is people’s “sab changa si” attitude, in other words, lack of awareness. Because, on one hand, there is global outrage and concern for pollution and climate. In India, on the other hand, people are more worried about their heritage, history and pride or lack thereof. As if the problems of present aren’t big enough already! Since when did we start looking backwards instead of walking towards tomorrow?

Summing up: Although air pollution is as big an issue as any other, nobody takes it seriously, because nobody knows how serious it is in the first place! Besides, even when people feel it in their eyes and throats, they adapt to it, they manage thinking it’s a “short-term” problem but which it is not. Therefore, a holistic approach is necessary to combat the pollution problem if we are to leave our grandchildren a clean, breathable place to live.

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