As the air pollution levels rise dangerously in Gurugram, over 3000 residents, including schoolchildren, corporates and senior citizens, gathered at Leisure Valley Ground in Sector 29 in Gurugram on November 17 to raise their voice.
Gurugram residents have been struggling for clean air as the AQI remained in the 'severe' category since last week.
The district administration had even issued an advisory to people few days ago, suggesting that they complete outdoor work between 11 am and 3 pm.
Deputy commissioner Amit Khatri said that the Air Quality Index (AQI) has reached the severe zone. It is hazardous for people especially children, elderly persons, and pregnant women.
"Gurugram is one of the smart cities in India. Roads and malls make the city 'smart' but at what cost? Our life? People are suffering everyday. Air pollution is undoubtedly the silent killer." said Tarushi, a climate activist from Aravalli Bachao Andolan.
Doctors from Max Gurgaon and Fortis came forward and talked about the extreme health implications of bad air. NGOs and civic society groups such as Citizens for Clean Air, I Am Gurgaon, Let's Walk Gurgaon, Gurgaon Moms, Gurgaon First, Gurgaon Community Circle, Why Waste Your Waste, Garbage Free India among others participated in the campaign.
Corporates including Nagarro, Make My Trip, IBM, Genpact, Sapient, Egon Zhender, Vivtera and Bata were also present.
Manas Fuloria, CEO, Nagarro said, “Nagarro employs 5000 people in Gurugram, and NASSCOM companies employ maybe 100 times this number here and form the main engine of the economy. And on behalf of NASSCOM Haryana I can state that we are suffering greatly on account of this air pollution. "
He added "Our people are unwell, they are frustrated, they are leaving for other cities and countries. And our international clients are nervous. They are cancelling their trips to India. Instead of Gurgaon coming across as the Millennium City of India, it is coming across as a dystopian apocalyptic city.”
Dr. Parul Sharma Director-Ophthalmology, Max Hospitals, Delhi and Gurgaon, said, “ Air pollution is a national health emergency as this alarming air quality affects all organs of the bodies. Pregnant mothers, children and the elderly are most susceptible especially if they are already dealing with any other disease. As healthcare professionals we want central and state governments to take this as the topmost priority, form a separate rapid action task force and ensure immediate implementation of preventive measures to curb pollution”.
A letter on behalf of Gurugram residents will be submitted to the Government which demands Clean air, enforcement of laws against waste burning, sustainable transport, etc.