Air pollution levels in India’s capital soared to hazardous levels in winter of 2019 leaving a toxic grey haze hanging over the city and causing poor visibility. Many who venture outside suffer teary eyes and troubling coughs.
Delhi was already considered one of the world’s most polluted cities. In 2019, air quality deteriorated so significantly that the local government declared a public health emergency, schools were shut down, and flights were cancelled.
'Airpocalyse’ a Channel News Asia documentary that dives deep in the Delhi pollution and how can we prevent another air emergency. Let Me Breathe's founder, Tamseel Hussain, traveled to Punjab and New Delhi for this investigation.
The documentary also features some Let Me Breathe creators and other experts who are at the forefront of solving this problem for the capital.
"I wake up in the night due to breathlessness. Air pollution in November (2019) did make me very angry because a lot of students were having diffculties in breathing due to polluton levels", said Aditya Dubey, a student activist.
Dr. Arvind Kumar who is the Chairman, Center for Chest Surgery and Director, Institute of Robotic Surgery at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital New Delhi and Founder and Managing Trustee, Lung Care Foundation said, "We saw an increase in number of patents coming to us in the month of November (2019). They are having asthmatic attacks, pneumonia to name a few. Public is paying a heavy price in terms of health damage."
"There are so many factors that cause Delhi's air pollution that you might not have control over. Media might move on, politicians might keep throwing blame games at each other, sensational news will continue happening but what doesn't change is citizen's voice. Citizens' voice asking for positive change has a long-lasting impact," said Tamseel Hussain.
(Watch the full documentary here)