An inquiry panel set up by a govt institute recently declared that dealing women strictly for dereliction amounts to sexual harassment? Doesn’t this report come as a shame when we talk of women empowerment and want equality for women both in work and wages. If this what we call as women empowerment, then those women, who want to walk shoulder-to-shoulder with men would prefer backing off from work than to enjoy such liberalities.
Yes, its true! Delhi belly is full of filth. And therefore a total of 20% of the world’s children staying here face the risks of developing life-long health complications due to air pollution. Many of them also face certain challenges of life threatening disease. This is what has been revealed in recently released report by UNICEF entitled, ‘Clean the Air for Children.’
The report adds that many of these kids also face certain challenges of life threatening disease. The kids catch infections quite easily due to air pollution. This is because of their physiology as well as due to different degree of their exposure to the pollutants. Kids also breathe twice as fast as adults. They inhale more air and pollutants which affect their growth and make their immune system weak.
Further, giving goosebumps to parents, this report presents a holistic study showing that outdoor air pollution exceeds over six times in India that of the set limits which are considered safe internationally.
Hence, in these testing times, don’t you think it is the duty of government to bring in some tough measures to check pollution levels in capital as well as in the country.
This Saturday, I was in Delhi and for the first time, I saw sun struggling to show its might on earth even at 12 noon. Traffic cops on roads were wearing masks on their faces; even those walking on streets had a fear on their face. I wondered is this the same Delhi, which I left hale and healthy six months back. And then came reports after reports on its pollutants figures:
* It’s AQI index surpassed the benchmark of 300 to touch the figure of 392 which is being considered very poor: Now you must be willing to know more about AQI. It is an air quality index (AQI) used by government agencies to communicate to the public about the pollution level. It states how polluted the air is or how polluted it could become in future. The increase in the AQI leads to the adverse health effects for a large percentage of the population.
*The ever-mounting figures of pollution in Delhi became a cause of concern for one and all: Both the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR) rang alarm bells to make people realise the fact that the city’s air quality has touched hazardous levels during the winter.
*Source of pollution: The weather conditions, Diwali crackers and smoke from crop fire have been the vital reasons triggering some disastrous results in Delhi and its surrounding zones. Meanwhile, the major sources for air pollution identified in Delhi are inefficient modes of transport, household fuel and waste burning, coal-fired power plants, and industrial activities. The city gets all the more pollutants on Diwali with the crackers leaving no stone unturned to make the air toxic.
* High level of pollutants: On October 30, 2016, that is on Diwali day, the PM2.5 levels jumped to 1,238, which, in normal circumstances, should remain below 10. These are tiny particles which remain suspended in air and get into lungs causing reasons for high mortality risks. The exposure to average annual concentrations of PM2.5 of 35 or above is associated with a 15% higher long-term mortality risk.
* And the data says: A recently derived Data from satellite measurements, air transport models and ground station collected by monitoring over 3,000 rural and urban locations, reveals that an estimated 3 million deaths a year are reported due to an exposure to outdoor air pollution. In 2012, an estimated 6.5 million deaths making it over 11.6 per cent of global deaths were associated with exposure to indoor and outdoor air pollution.
This report also revealed the fact that around 90 per cent of air-pollution-related deaths are reported in countries which are low- and middle-income. Nearly two out of three such deaths occur in WHO’s South-East Asia and Western Pacific regions.
* Diseases from air pollution: A few major diseases triggered by air pollution are cardiovascular diseases, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, stroke and lung cancer. The number of acute respiratory infections also multiply with the increase in air pollution.
Need of the hour: A legislation is quickly required to curb the air pollution.
Although there are a few laws already in place for automobile emissions, but they need some amount of upgradation as well to touch better standards. Laws regarding the refinement of chimney emissions etc which reduce pollutants and PM particles from the emission need to be checked for its implementation.
The government needs to send health updates to residents about air quality. It should also order taking off roads the heavy polluting diesel vehicles. Introducing a safer public transport is yet another initiative the government can take.
Close on the heel of China’s initiative, it should also close colleges and offices after closing schools.This initiative will help avoid its people getting exposed to dreadful air pollutants.
There is a stringent need to take quick action to fix things before it gets too late. Urgent measures need to be taken to make air in India the best in the world, which, on Diwali night, was among the world’s worst.
Let the government agencies implement something concrete which can give respite to the citizens and let the people too avow to keep their surroundings clean, to minimise use of private vehicles especially diesel ones, to ensure better life for the coming generations.
Can you imagine a world-class hospital forcing you to stand in long queues for long time despite paying a regular fee?
It might look unbelievable but then it did come true when we went to Fortis Jaipur on August 16th, which was Monday and had come after a long weekend. We thought there might be a heavy rush in the first half and hence we left at 2 pm thinking that the week-end rush might disappear by afternoon. However, much to our surprise, all counters at OPD were vacant and there was a big queue at one counter which was the only functional counter.
There was a mad rush, people in queue were screaming and no discipline was being followed at all!
The only gentleman working at the only OPD was taking calls, making slips, arranging for cash and what not! The crowd was seen coming from all sides and there was no systematic procedure being followed.
It seemed as if we had entered any government hospital with things running topsy-turvy. Even there was no one available at the inquiry counter.
For a while, I was thinking what’s the use of opening this big OPD when there is no staff available to attend to the patients’ queries.
Sorry Fortis, but then I never expected this kind of management from your side. Had it been a government hospital we could have complained to the senior authorities, but in your case, whom should we approach?
Does travelling in India come as a challenge during urgent circumstances?
My experience says ‘yes’. This is because recently while travelling from Jaipur to Delhi, I got a news that my mother had met with an accident near Indore and has lost her life. I was informed that two of my aunts have also passed away. Mid-way in train, I was clueless how to handle the situation.
My co-passengers started surfing their nets to check tickets in tatkal and general and ladies quota. Much to our surprise, not even a single seat was vacant.
Then, they started surfing net for airlines. Surprisingly, the prices were enormously high for a middle class to handle. While Delhi-Indore morning flight showed Rs 11000 per person as its fare, the evening flight displayed Rs 18000. It meant a dent of above Rs 50000 as we were four in a family.
Left with no choice, we have to book air tickets to Udaipur which were within our reach and from Udaipur, we hired a private vehicle to Ratlam. Overall, it was again a dent of Rs 35000.
In between, we got the news that my cousin is also critical. I wanted to fly away, time looked like the only bottleneck which was stopping me to reach to her.
Emotions ran crazy and tears kept rolling. Wanted to sue the entire system that what am I paying my taxes for if I am not getting the right facility at right time.
The worst happened when during our road journey, we were stranded in long queues many times. This is because it was the last day of Simhastha and many vehicles were stranded at toll taxes counters.
Long queues, endless waits, sweaty summers and immerse mental trauma due to grief and sorrow instilled a traumatic feel.
And hence was forced to pen down my experience that how come there is no facility available for those who want to travel in urgent circumstances? Doesn’t there be a special counter for handling emergency situations?
We think big…are looking forward for a bullet train, have prestigious airlines flying in our skies, have smooth taxis running on roads, but are we able to meet grassroot challenges?
Does someone really care for those who want to travel urgently.
I wish there’s someone who can take my plea forward and introduce emergency quota for those who are distressed and want to reach their destinations fast!