Air purifiers in schools in Delhi NCR.
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The hazardous pollution levels present in the capital are taking away the most basic right that every human is entitled to, the right to breathe. To fully understand the depth and extent of the pollution levels in Delhi and Gurugram, we need to comprehend what an AQI is.
An AQI represents the Air Quality Index. It's a statistic used by government agencies to communicate to the public how polluted the air currently is or how polluted it is to become. A moderate AQI is about 50-100. This the internationally accepted level. The World Health Organisation, the largest international medical governing organization, states that ANY index over 300 is hazardous.
Here, in Delhi, we have seen levels rise to 999, more than THRICE the amount deemed hazardous, risking our lives three times more. We've seen numbers varying from 450 to 856 in Gurugram, and it's perhaps one of the most unfortunate sights to see that our generation is being deprived of something that every human needs to survive. As humans, we deserve the right to breathe, and children- going to school to be the next prime ministers, the next doctors, the next generation to take over this country- are breathing air levels that exceed hazardous levels by 250%. 8 people are dying every day in Delhi because of pollution, and 1/3rd of children living in Delhi have some sort of respiratory problem. Conditions are predicted to remain the same until the month of January when the AQI decreases to levels less dangerous.
The Government has ordered all schools in Delhi to be shut until the 13th of November, 2017, however, the AQI will practically remain the same for the better half of December. This exposes us to more than 480 hours of beyond hazardous air, an amount which is more than competent to give an array of respiratory diseases and lung problems including cancer, to nearly HALF the population, a number which we, as citizens of India, cannot afford.
It is due to an accumulation of these reasons that we, a group of 9th graders looking to help children like us, urge you to sign this petition as to suggest the government to implement policies that make the installation of air purifiers in schools in NCR mandatory.
Our idea of installing air purifiers is based on protection of the children of today however it is not a long-term solution. For prevention we would like to suggest the Indian government to incorporate the following:
Tackle stubble burning: Manish Sisodia (Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi ) and Mahesh Sharma (Union minister of state for the environment) also stressed upon the fact that this is one of the main contributors to air pollution. The prime cause of the pollution is the burning of crop residue and fields by a majority of Indian farmers. To tackle this, there are a few simple steps to be implemented by the government: Provide logistic support to farmers for clearing their fields up and using the latest technology to turn their waste into reusable material which can be used for several purposes. These farmers do not have money for transportation of their waste to these sites, therefore, government transportation should be the first thing provided to them. This same crop residue can be converted into manure which helps in numerous ways and during this process gases like CNG are released which can be used as fuel.
The building of KMP expressway: Delhi Western Peripheral Expressway or Kundli-Manesar–Palwal Expressway, is an under construction 135.6 km long Expressway in the Indian state of Haryana. It has been under construction for the last 6 years. If it is completed in the next 6 months, the truck movement in Delhi will fall drastically by 70% because these same trucks will not need to go through Delhi. Trucks from South India and West India going to the north (Punjab and Uttar Pradesh,etc.) through Delhi don’t have cross Delhi if it is built.
As a final sidenote, India also imports oil and fuel which is used by our vehicles and is extremely harmful to our air. This same oil was rejected for import by China as it would be causing too much harm to the air. But India took the cheap and fast solution not thinking about the long-term impact of this same oil. This must change.
Madhav Kacker, Ronit Kathuria, Dhruv Bindra and Raghav Verma.
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