IT’S NOT JUST FASH­ION TO DON A MASK

Delhi’s fash­ion fra­ter­nity comes to­gether to start a pol­lu­tion di­a­logue and tackle the is­sue

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Front Page - Snigdha Ahuja

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.”

snigdha.ahuja@htlive.com PHOTO: AMAL KS /HT

PHOTO: RAAJESSH KASHYAP/HT

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