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#ConstitutionDay: President Ram Nath Kovind Calls Health Problems Due To Air Pollution A Gap In Social Justice

#ConstitutionDay: President Ram Nath Kovind Calls Health Problems Due To Air Pollution A Gap In Social Justice

New Delhi: As India observes Constitution Day, also known as Samvidhan Divas — to celebrate the day the Constitution of India was adopted back in 1949, President Ram Nath Kovind shed light on the fact that clean air is the right of each and every individual irrespective of their social status. Speaking at the inaugural function of ‘ The Constitution Day ‘ celebrations in New Delhi, President Ram Nath said, social justice is a touchstone of nation building and it is about providing equal opportunities. He added,

In India, the idea of social justice too has expanded to encompass modern civic parameters – such as clean air; less polluted cities and towns, rivers and water bodies; sanitary and hygienic living conditions; and green and eco-friendly growth and development.

He further said,

If a child suffers from asthma due to air pollution, I would consider that a gap in providing social justice.

India, World’s Fastest Growing Economy Has World’s Most Toxic Air

Today, in India, major cities are battling the problem of air pollution, the country is home to the world’s 10 most polluted cities with the national capital region being the most polluted city in the world. As per the World Health Organisation, 37 Indian cities are among the world’s top 100 cities with very high levels of pollutants like PM10.

According to the 2015 Global Burden of Disease report, about 1.09 million deaths in India happen due to Particulate Matter (PM 2.5). Whereas, the recent study by researchers at the University of Chicago in the US stated that people in India can live an average of 4.3 years longer if the country met the global guidelines for particulate pollution.

Also Read: Intellectual Disability Is Linked To Air Pollution, Say Researchers

Currently, the Air Quality Index (AQI) as per Centre Pollution Control Board in major cities of India is in the ‘very poor’ and ‘hazardous’ category, putting people at the risk of many life-threatening diseases. Ghaziabad is at 401, Delhi is at 330, Kolkata is at 358, Lucknow is at 370, Patna is at 396 and Kanpur is at 323.

Also Read: Delhi’s Air Quality Was Most Deadly In 2016 In Two Decades, Reduced Life Expectancy By 10 Years: Study

Last month, in the national capital region, the Air Quality Index (AQI) shot up to 999 in Anand Vihar and areas around Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium (the maximum level the monitors can record), that’s almost double the upper limit of what’s considered ‘hazardous’.

Also Read: Breathless In Delhi: Twitterati Reacts To The Air Pollution In Different Ways

Acknowledging the grim situation of air pollution in India, the President today put the onus of denying as basic a right as breathing clean air to people, on the failure of authorities to check a deteriorating situation.

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swachh India campaign lends support to the Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). Helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan, the campaign aims to spread awareness about hygiene and sanitation, the importance of building toilets and making India open defecation free (ODF) by October 2019, a target set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when he launched Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2014. Over the years, the campaign has widened its scope to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and menstrual hygiene. The campaign has also focused extensively on marine pollutionclean Ganga Project and rejuvenation of Yamuna, two of India’s major river bodies.

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