IT’S NOT JUST FASHION TO DON A MASK
Delhi’s fashion fraternity comes together to start a pollution dialogue and tackle the issue
It’s like our tolerance level is way too high and we don’t value life that much. The pollution level is not only a Diwali conversation GAURAV GUPTA, FASHION DESIGNER
Winter is passing, and the smog issue in Delhi, which makes daily headlines every year in the months after Diwali, is on the backburner. It seems as if the pollution problem has gone away.
But it hasn’t. And the fact the people aren’t paying attention to it now really annoys Delhi-based designer Gaurav Gupta. “I can’t believe people are not talking about it. It’s a joke!” he exclaims. “It’s like our tolerance level is way too high and we don’t value life that much. The pollution level is not only a one-time Diwali conversation.”
Gupta emphasises on the fact that PM 2.5 (fine particulate matter) in Delhi at any given point of time is between 250ug/m3 and 1000ug/m3, compared to the permissible 60 ug/m3. “Imagine! This is the air that we’re breathing. This is a [state of] emergency, which no one realises.”
As a citizen, Gupta plans to do something. He is starting a pan-India campaign that aims to raise awareness using popular faces across industries. “What’s the point of having a social standing if one can’t use it for a purpose?” he asks.
Calling it The AntiPollution Riot Campaign, Gupta plans to hold community activities, parties, and use influencers from media, fashion and cinema to highlight the severity of the issue.
The campaign will kick off in Delhi — starting with a gathering today — where participants will wear anti-pollution masks. “Wearing these masks, putting it on social media… it’s all to make people realise the reality and urgency of it all,” he says.
Other Delhi-based members of the fashion fraternity are supportive. Model Sonalika Sahay says, “There was a time when I used to send my kids to school in masks. I’m happy that as an industry, we are opening a discussion.”
Designer Anand Bhushan is all charged up. “The air quality in our city is horrible!” he says. “That a designer is making the effort to start a dialogue on this issue is remarkable.”