Why You Must Experience Smog At Least Once In Your Lifetime. NOT.

Last week, when I started from my home for the office in the morning, the visibility was not even 100 meters. Winter has already set in, wow! No wow.All the vehicles plying on the roads had their emergency (parking) lights on. Indeed it is an emergency situation! But isn’t it too late to realize that?

Today, the smog in Delhi has become so (in)famous that there is a dedicated Wiki page for it. They call it the Great Smog of Delhi. Finally something ‘great’ about the city, eh?

I am a Delhi lover, as you all know. And I am not bashing Delhi in this post. Why should I?

I should be bashing those people who are who take pride in being a Delhiite but will not take a single step to make it a better place to live.

Remember how we studied about ozone layer depletion and it’s the effect on our future generations? We did not really pay any heed to it, did we? Similarly, we took Delhi far more than just for granted. We assumed that the present day chronic and terminal problem of air pollution in Delhi will take a toll on the future generation and that we are safe. NO. The future generation is here.

A death toll due to air pollution which reached 2.5 Million in India in 2015 is not fueling the anger of otherwise angry Delhiites. Isn’t it surprising? I will tell you why.

Delhi refused to not to burn crackers this Diwali because “religion”. I don’t know if Lord Ram explicitly mentioned that his devotees should be burning crackers in order to please him. But if this is what we believe in then we have our smog justified to us. That is why Delhi is not complaining. 

We are so full of ourselves that we refuse to use carpooling unless and until enforced upon us by something like the odd-even law. We can not give-in our luxuries. We have to understand that we should not be needing any law. We should be wise enough to pool when we can. But no, our convenience is our top priority – even before health.  That is why Delhi is not complaining. 

We are the same city which will be up against the Government whenever it comes to a murder or a rape. It is a great thing. We know that our nation is a mess and will not work unless we put pressure on the Government.

Isn’t it time that we do that again? Why wasn’t the Government pressurized to stop the burning of paddy even when a warning was issued that it is going to be a threat to the quality of air? Even now, after Delhi was in a state of medical emergency for 120 hours, why wasn’t their any hue and cry? Is it because we have accepted that there is no hope for us in this nation when it comes to health? Or is it because the right to clean air not something that we can ever dream of?

These unanswered questions are good enough reasons for us to experience smog and not complain about it!

The Government is not ready to lose its vote bank, thus they are not stringent about banning the paddy field burning. But is that the only reason? No. The paddy residue is literally useless for the farmers – it cannot be good manure, it can not be a  good fodder(the quality of milk decreases because of no nutrients in the residue). Government is not ready to shed any money for the proper disposal of the waste and the farmers are left with only one option – which is free- burning. Talk about corruption!

I am not blaming the Government entirely. At least in Delhi, many steps have been taken – like phasing out of old cars and diesel ran vehicles.

The negligence of the Government and the citizens together is the cause of our “great” smog. But why are the young kids and the old people who probably once fought for an independent India struggling to breathe?

I see my father coughing the life out of him whenever he tries to step out of the house. I am sorry but even the masks are of no great help. This is not what his retirement looked like to him.

Isn’t it time that we all do our bit to ensure that our future is better? It’s time we leave our personal convenience behind and be a li’l less selfish. Or wait, and be selfish. Do something to have cleaner air for yourself! There are some natural culprits – the slow wind, the dust storm of the middle-east -and we can not do anything about them. But let’s do something about the things which are under our control.

Let us decide that we are not going to face this kind of a situation again. Here is what you can do to have better air for yourself in the near future. And if you care enough, then for the future generations as well:

Okay, so this is what you are required to do from today. I am already doing everything that I could because I have my parents and my li’l nephew who need extra care than me. And surely, this is not the kind of lifestyle I want for them – confined to home, wearing a breathing mask.

I hope the next time the wind speed is 2km/hour or when Diwali is around, we are in a better position than today!

  1. @Ronnie Dada
    Yes, true! I don't know how much we all can endure. However, I think the Government is too busy looking after their vote banks that they don't think the situation here is important here at all.

    That is why all we can do is just do our best and prepare for the worst.

  2. Very balanced post. Both praising and criticizing the efforts of the government.However, I really feel we are at a point now where small steps don't matter anymore. 10 times the pollution level of Beijing is just unimaginable for a person living in western Europe.
    This should be a warlike scenario with the government holding emergency meetings and taking immediate counter steps, and being persistent with them.
    Air, water, and food are the very basic requirements for existence. The same thing happens with our food. The amount of pesticide present in our food is unimaginable. We are testing the human body to its extremes. I don't know how much more we can endure.

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