People, people and more people
Basma on life in a 21 million megacityRead her story
Rocky Mishra, Roche New Delhi
Published 29 May 2020
Rocky Mishra, Regional Value Lead, Specialty and Oncology, New Delhi
I moved to New Delhi from my hometown of Lucknow (in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh) in 2006. It has been 13 years and things have only become worse by the day on the environmental front.
There are things about Delhi that I really like. For instance, there are many more green spaces in the city when compared to other big cities in the country. However, the greenery alone cannot help us combat the pollution if people do not do their bit.
We are used to smog and intolerably poor quality air for days and weeks on end. However, during this coronavirus lockdown with reduced emission levels, the sky over Delhi and around has suddenly changed to blue. We have not seen something like this in years. This has proved as a boon for the environment, but it will only be temporary.
Usually, my wife, who is a nutritionist, my children, aged eight and three, and I all have breathing trouble and burning, red eyes. The highly toxic air is making our lungs work overtime and they are not able to cope.
Little children especially feel the brunt of it. Schools closed for a few days because it was dangerous for kids to breathe the air. Bad air quality is the result of multiple factors, such as combustion of vehicular fuel, dust, industrial pollution, over-construction and burning of dried crops.
Some environmental efforts have begun at the grassroots level. People are getting involved with initiatives such as composting their kitchen waste or even cleaning their surroundings while out on morning walks. There is also more effort toward building awareness on how to segregate waste properly. In addition, we need to take steps such as using public transport, carpooling and moving industries to locations outside the city. There have been some success stories, such as the operation of the biggest metro network in the country and all public transport running on clean fuel. I hope that my children’s generation will be able to breathe clear air and drink clean water. It is their right.