Air Pollution in India – An all-time alarming high!

Pollution is in the Air

Every once in a while an article surfaces that has us all talking about it. But just like every other news frenzy, it is all soon forgotten and we latch on to the next happening predicament. But maybe it is time to have a conversation on pollution and its effects, outside of news articles and children’s school essays!

A recent study conducted by IQAir Visual and Greenpeace shows that India is home to 15 of the top 20 most polluted cities in the world! Data like this is worrying! And here is why- The Global Burden of Disease (GBD) report found that Outdoor air pollution has become the fifth largest killer in India. This 2015 report says that about 620,000 premature deaths each year, occur in India from air pollution-related diseases.

AIR POLLUTION IN INDIA

The Contributors to Air Pollution

So now that we have your attention, Let’s understand more about this  catastrophe-in-the-making!

Reportedly, the major causes of air pollution in India are…

  1. Fuelwood and biomass burning
  2. Burning of crop residue in agriculture fields on a large scale,
  3. Usage of adulterated fuel,
  4. Emission from vehicles compounded by traffic congestion.

The last few decades in our country has been all about industrialization, motorization, and urbanization. Pollution control and environment-friendly alternatives have sadly taken a backseat.

Watch this video here where Environmental Activist Vandana Shiva Explains Delhi’s Pollution – https://www.brut.media/in/health/vandana-shiva-explains-delhi-s-pollution-72c361fa-21c2-4d89-887b-d73b369e5fab

What are we doing about it?

True, with large-scale triggers like these, structural and policy changes feel like the only way to combat this impending disaster. And of late we have seen some noteworthy efforts to fight against pollution.

The eliminating all single-use (carry bags, straws, and water bottles) plastic in the country by 2022 is a tremendous move by the government.

In this year, the government has drafted a National Clean Air Policy (NCAP) and approved 1,000 low-floor AC electric buses for the National Capital, Delhi in a major move to fight air pollution.

But are these initial steps enough? Are we all doing our part to actively eradicate this issue?

The Way Forward…

The fight against pollution will only succeed only if it becomes a people’s movement- with every individual coming together doing their bit and urging our leaders and stakeholders to mandate and follow through with more policies for environment positive growth!

In the meantime, here are simple some steps we all can take to minimize pollution

  1. Choose Cleaner Commute– Our obsession with owning vehicles has us all buying more and more without understanding the repercussions. The Center for Science and Environment has found that between 1975 and 1995 a period during which the country’s economy grew by about 2.5 times the vehicular pollution load grew by eight times.

So let’s rethink this! Use public transportation whenever possible. Cycle or Walk to nearby places. Consider investing in electric or low emission vehicles for the longer run.

    1. Disposing waste properly is another huge way to combat pollution. When it comes to waste we should all focus on producing less waste and not only on segregating better. Composting Kitchen waste, trying to reduce, reuse and up-cycle are all small-scale undertakings that provide large-scale benefits. We still use harmful open fires to burn plastic and other waste and that is a big problem!
    1. Supporting local companies with sustainable practices also sets a great example! Buying non-polluting, organic, agricultural product sends out a positive message and encourages more companies to re-evaluate their practices!

To Sum Up…

There are a number of day-to-day changes like being judicial about our resources, switching to a majorly plant-based diet etc. we can make to have an impact. It is also important to be aware of government policies and holding our representatives accountable. After all pollution, climate change etc. aren’t far way apocalyptic scenarios! These are immediate dangers- a global public health issue for the current and future generations to come!

Find out More!

Check out these articles if you’d like to know more on the issue of Air Pollution in India! And do share with us your ideas and thoughts on how we can further fight pollution!

  1. Latest air pollution data ranks world’s cities worst to best
  2. A Report Confirms That Delhi Is Winning a War Against… Itself
  3. Air scare: Why isn’t India’s pollution emergency a poll issue?
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