I can’t remember a time when I saw the skies all blue and that’s not me being rhetoric, but because I live in a polluted city like New Delhi. I have been living here for a couple of years and I don’t remember the sky ever being anything other than the colour “grey” all because of the amount of polluted air there is.
Why am I suddenly all about the skies? Because this New Year, I planned to go out of the Hustle Bustle of the capital to the hills like every year and was It exhilarating.
This time I planned to go to the South of India and camp amongst the mountains and the forests. Right from the moment I stepped out of my flight in Bangalore, I took a gulp of air and realized how different it is from the harsh air I have trouble breathing in Delhi. It’s not something I realize when I am here in Delhi because obviously I, amongst everyone who lives here am accustomed to this kind of air I am breathing. But, working in a company who works for the environment has made me well aware of the fact that there is so much more than I am missing living in the capital, for instance, a basic quality of proper breathable air.
I went to the hills of Kodai Kanal which is a small hill station in Tamil Nadu, with its blue skies and literal clouds floating around me, I swear the first thing I thought about was, “I should’ve gotten an air sensor with me.” But that’s not because I have gone full OCD about the air pollution, that’s because just a day before my flight I was going to different places in Delhi with an air sensor, with the air pollution blowing out of proportion of Particulate Matter(PM2.5) ranging 700-1000, which is way beyond any normal breathable level. Where I can’t imagine the levels exceeding even beyond 100. I wondered how shocking would it be for the people who lived there on the hills to see a condition so dense of air pollution around them like the way we do.
But regardless, the condition at a hill station and a city as big as the capital of India, like Delhi makes me wonder about an entire population of people who are deprived of their basic necessity just because the area they choose to live in. Metropolitan cities like Delhi/NCR with the population as big as around 24 million, where people come with a lot of aspirations and willing to take opportunities from the small cities don’t realize what death trap they’re stepping into.
So what my question is that, is this condition ever going to change? Is the government doing anything to tackle the pollution in their own capital of the country? Where the news is concerned, the answer is a hard no. With a New Year, the pollution levels have also increased to almost severe levels, which is something not very rejoicing for a brand New Year.
In my opinion, we do have a lot of solutions like buying air purifiers or air masks, but until when can we use these? We can’t run away by just staying home. The way I see it, different cities have been trying different means to tackle the condition as severe as air pollution by doing their bit, so why can’t a city as modern as Delhi?
Let’s take a resolution this New Year, not only for the government but also for every citizen living here, that we do our bit to make this city as clean as the hill stations people want to escape to. Not by doing anything major, but just trying to do little bits from our side, from using public transports to not burning crackers to grow more trees. And mostly last but not the least, make people know the difference between smog and fog.