Pollution is one of the most urgent problems of our society.
Our oceans are already becoming covered with waste, our land is being poisoned due to pesticides. Furthermore our sky is becoming greyer every day, especially in the big cities where there is more smog, noise pollution and also light pollution.
The capital city with the worst air pollution in the world is New Delhi. According to the World Air Quality Report six Indian cities are in the top 10 for the worst levels of air pollution. New Delhi has the highest exposure to toxic air in the country.
Shaheen Khokhar, a resident of Gurugram, southwest Delhi, interviewed by the BBC, spoke about the unnaturally gray and seemingly overcast sky and said: “One minute, it’s sunny, and the next, you’re engulfed in this dark, smoky haze.” All residents of Delhi every day see the distressing pollution that is taking over their land, their sky and their lives.
The city in the autumn and winter smog is covered by a blanket of acrid smog. In fact, during these months, children have been forced to wear masks also before the pandemic due to COVID-19 to protect themselves from the pollution.
Air is unbreathable, the situation is unsustainable for citizens and the effects of this harmful pollution have a strong impact on the population. The first consequence is health problems with skin and eye irritation to severe neurological, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, bronchitis, lung capacity loss, emphysema, cancer, and increased mortality rates. We must learn that air pollution is a killer and millions of people die for this reason.
So it is urgent to stop this self-destruction, because men are the first cause of air pollution. The main causes are in fact industrial pollution and vehicular emissions and also farmland fires and crop burning.
In January 2019, the Indian government launched the National Clean Air Program, a five-year plan aiming to curb worsening levels of pollution across the country. The first possibility to stop this pollution is to change the agriculture practices moving to sustainable agricultural solutions. This would be a great solution because we have to think that the smoke from crop fields burning in the fall is visible from space and covers vast areas of northern India.
There is still much to be done to solve this dangerous problem, but time is running out. So we must hurry, or it will be too late.
Verdiana Karol Di Maria