New Delhi: As Air Quality Index in major cities of India – Delhi and Mumbai see a shift for the worse yet again, actor and Goodwill ambassador of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Dia Mirza took to social media to raise concern about the deteriorating air quality of the country. Posting pictures of Mumbai’s and Delhi’s Air Quality Index, Dia Mirza said,
It’s only October and the #AQI is rocketing. This is what is making us sick. Very very sick. Our parents, our children, you and me. Our fundamental right to live is threatened everyday that the air remains polluted and we do nothing about it. #MyRightToBreathe #BreatheLife.
View Dia Mirza’s Post
It’s only October and the #AQI is rocketing. This is what is making us sick. Very very sick. Our parents, our children, you and me. Our fundamental right to live is threatened everyday that the air remains polluted and we do nothing about it. #MyRightToBreathe #BreatheLife pic.twitter.com/zVNuYu8hoq
— Dia Mirza (@deespeak) October 9, 2018
With an air quality index of 262, Delhi’s air quality was ranked in the category of “poor”, authorities claim that this shift has happened because of the change in direction of wind, which is now flowing from stubble burning areas in Punjab and Haryana.
In Mumbai, according to the data provided by SAFAR, on October 9, Air Quality of Navi Mumbai was recorded as 201 (poor) and Worli as 191 (moderate).
For the national capital, SAFAR has also forecast further deterioration of air quality in the next two days with pollutants like the PM10 expected to touch 278 and PM2.5 likely to reach “very poor” stage at 125 in the next three days.
This is not the first time, Dia Mirza has raised concern about the poor air quality in the country, in March this year when Mumbai was recording worse air quality than Delhi, Pune and Ahmedabad, the actor took to social media to raise the air pollution issue prevailing in the city and ask the authorities to take immediate steps.
The actor posted pictures of Mumbai’s Air Quality Index of past 5 months and said,
Pay attention to the toxic air quality. Demand for our fundamental right to life, the right to breathe clean air. The air has remained excessively polluted for over 5months now. When will we speak up? #BreatheLife #CleanAir #MyRightToBreathe #AirQuality.
Pay attention to the toxic air quality. Demand for our fundamental right to life, the right to breathe clean air. The air has remained excessively polluted for over 5months now. When will we speak up? #BreatheLife #CleanAir #MyRightToBreathe #AirQuality pic.twitter.com/Twpdb8cLo3
— Dia Mirza (@deespeak) March 25, 2018
How Air Pollution Is Killing The Planet
According to the World Health Organisation, 14 Indian cities featured in the list of top 20 most polluted cities of the world in terms of PM2.5 levels. Delhi, Mumbai, Varanasi, Kanpur were among the 14 Indian cities to feature in this list.
On the other hand, the Lancet study had stated that pollution is the largest environmental cause of disease and death in the world today — three times more than those dying due HIV-AIDS, TB and malaria put together. In 2015, with 2.51 million people died prematurely in the country due to diseases linked to air, water and other forms of pollution, making India one of the top countries with pollution-related deaths.
As per UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) report, children’s exposure to air pollution can permanently damage their brains. While, pregnant women’s exposure to traffic related air pollutants – especially PM2.5- can be associated with two-to-six per cent increased odds of low birth weight and one-to-three per cent increased odds of being small for gestational age.
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 pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and menstrual hygiene. The campaign has also focused extensively on marine pollution, clean Ganga Project and rejuvenation of Yamuna, two of India’s major river bodies.