‘Individual actions can keep air pollution in control’

By: Ananya Chaturvedi

“Roses are red, violets are blue, bad hair days are okay, but bad air days will screw you.”- Abhijit Naskar

Climate change is real. Deforestation is real. Air pollution is real.

My young sister always struggles to breathe in this polluted air of Delhi, especially during winters, and has recently been diagnosed with asthma. Not just my sister, more than 90% of the world’s children breathe toxic air every day, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Why is this problem so persistent for so many years? Isn’t there any solution?

I decided to write this article after I came across this short video by Tv actor Mohit Malik pledging to drive one day less every week for reducing air pollution.

It really created a positive impact on me and at the same time, seeing mainstream actors talk about this very important issue made my day. He spoke about how lockdown is lifted now and people are out on the streets. He asks them to consider giving up driving once every week which I think is such a good initiative!

Air pollution not only affects the lungs but also affects the brainpower of children. According to WHO, it also impacts neurodevelopment and cognitive ability and can trigger asthma, and childhood cancer. Children who have been exposed to high levels of air pollution may be at greater risk for chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease later in life.

One of the major sources of pollution is from Vehicles. How many cars do you own? I am sure not less than two.

But, did you know that on-road diesel vehicles were responsible for nearly half of the health impacts of air pollution from vehicles worldwide in 2015? (Study, by researchers from the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), George Washington University, and the University of Colorado Boulder in the US)

Pollutants from vehicles include carbon monoxide, ozone, particulate matter (PM), and other smog-forming emissions- all of which are deadly. Google it!

Is there any solution? Yes! Driving one day less every week! Fewer kilometers driven means less emissions.

Personally, I have started taking so many environmentally friendly steps to reduce air pollution.

  1. Cycling: For going shorter distances, cycles are my go-to thing now. Trust me, it’s way better and takes care of my health too.
  2. Carpooling: I and my other two colleagues travel together in one car now. It helps save so much money and of course, reduces emissions.
  3. Walk: Walk when you can. Ditch the car for going to the market.

Above all, don’t take out your car for just one day a week. If everyone starts following this, this earth would definitely be much brighter and cleaner!

Ananya Chaturvedi

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