Fridays for Future — Sonakshi Rao
This first thing that comes to our mind when we think of Air pollution in Delhi. But why are we only talking about just Delhi? Why isn’t anyone shedding light on the fact that other cities like Mumbai aren’t far behind? After all, it is the fifth most polluted city! Shocking right. We don’t need the declaration of a public health emergency to act, or do we?
Thinking about pollution on a large scale, India’s population is a big concern. The country needs strict laws & a mechanism to ensure that everyone obeys them. Next, automobile emissions are higher than they should be. However, completely reducing emissions isn’t feasible. We need a more practical approach. Other countries too have vehicular emissions so what are we not doing as a nation?
It is a scientifically proven fact that pollution is much more during winters due to what is known as “temperature inversion”. However, this doesn’t mean that things will get much better during the summer. We’re at the beginning of mass extinction. People are suffering, people are dying or even suffering from depression, anxiety and dementia due to the polluted air; the death toll haven risen to 11.98 lakh. One might not know how severely pollution’s affecting one’s health. It may go undetected for a long time- “chronic pollution”.
Being an economics student, it fascinated me to read up & learn if air pollution can affect India’s economy and it seems like it definitely does.
We’ve heard of “Delhi bandhs”, particularly during winters when offices, factories, schools etc are shut. If a fixed amount of output isn’t being produced regularly by companies, it is likely to affect the output, the overall GDP. Also, India is an agrarian country which means agricultural produce forms the backbone of India’s economy. Now, if we have high temperatures or erratic rainfall in the country, it affects the crop output produced, severely affecting the country’s economy.
We’re well aware that pollution is severely affecting the climate. Increased accumulation of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, methane etc, in the atmosphere, are taking a toll on the environment. Mass participation is a must if we want to overcome air pollution, besides the people are showing involvement. Today, we have numerous climate strikes, campaigns running across the country, the slogan “FridaysForFuture” has become a trend. However, is the government undertaking every possible measure to stop air pollution in India?
Besides urging our representatives in the government to act, here’s what we can do: On an individual level, let’s get our car PUC’s done regularly. “Car-pooling”, using more public transport is one of the most sustainable ways by which we can make a change. Increasing the green cover in your locality or planting a few saplings in your balconies will do wonders. It might be a long-term solution, but now is the time to act. Or else, the day where Mumbai is the most polluted city in the world isn’t far.
About the author: The article is written by Sonakshi Rao, studying in Grade 11th in Singapore International School. She is passionate about women empowerment and improving our environment.