CHOKING OUR CHIL­DREN

India Today - - UPFRONT -

In the run-up to Di­wali, pol­lu­tion in Delhi be­comes an an­nual hor­ror story, given ex­haus­tive, in­dig­nant news cov­er­age. Still, lit­tle is done about the poi­sonous smog that hangs so men­ac­ingly over the city. Would more be done if we ac­cepted that pol­lu­tion is a na­tional prob­lem, if we took on board the WHO’s re­peated warn­ings, in­clud­ing in a re­port out on Oc­to­ber 29 that hun­dreds of thou­sands of chil­dren are dy­ing, and more in In­dia than any­where else? Shock­ingly, in­door pol­lu­tion kills more chil­dren un­der five years of age than the out­door va­ri­ety. And re­search links pol­lu­tion not just to res­pi­ra­tory ill­nesses but ev­ery­thing from leukaemia and reti­nal can­cer to obe­sity and ear in­fec­tions, and even at­ten­tion­d­eficit hy­per­ac­tiv­ity dis­or­der. This is not scare­mon­ger­ing, just plain, sci­en­tif­i­cally de­ter­mined fact.

Il­lus­tra­tion by TANMOY CHAKRABORT­Y

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