By YKA Staff:
Diwali just passed and that’s terrible, for more reason than one. Mainly because breathing has become a huge issue with the descent of the post-Diwali smog, something that is a yearly ritual at this point.
While Delhi is not exactly known for its clean air, being ranked second-most polluted city in the world (no great distinction), Diwali takes it to whole new levels. Despite authorities calling for a cracker-less Diwali, the smog that descended on Delhi early morning clearly showed how much that call had been heeded. Reports have shown that pollution has worsened in parts of the metro, with Delhi’s air quality being 42 times more polluted than normal, which is alarming.
Apart from the difficulty in breathing, there was the difficulty in seeing, with early commuters in Delhi roads complaining about ‘zero visibility’ at places and an air quality index indicating a level or 472 or ‘Hazardous’. Which basically means fine particles of soot and dust have increased dramatically (due to firecrackers being burst) which go and lodge in people’s throats and lungs. Also smog (which is what most of Delhi is experiencing right now) actually contains ozone and can lead to anything from burning eyes to severe respiratory problems, even in an otherwise healthy person. For people with a history of health problems, as many of us do, it’s much worse.
Delhiites took to Twitter to narrate their woes, backed up with pictorial evidence.
The problems had already begun last night:
— pallab ghosh (@pallabghosh) October 29, 2016
— nandita kodesia (@nandita_zee) October 31, 2016
— Tarun Kumar (@TK_Scribbler) October 31, 2016
— Meenakshi Kandwal (@MusafirMinakshi) October 31, 2016
— विस्मयादिबोधक (@DwivediKishor) October 31, 2016
— Ritin Gulati (@Ar_Ritin_Gulati) October 31, 2016
— Upmanyu (@upmanyutrivedi) October 31, 2016
Crackers don’t just pose a damage to our breathing, they are damaging to pretty much everything – from animals to the very air we breathe. For those who point to tradition, crackers are actually not an age-old part of Diwali celebrations; they were introduced in 1923. At what point do we take a step back and realize how much damage we’re doing to the environment and, if we don’t care about that, ourselves? According to a 2015 report by the World Health Organization (WHO), India has the most number of lung disease death in the world; a sign that no matter how much we insist ‘tradition’ or ‘preserving culture’, it’s neither and we are actively killing ourselves. It’s still possible to celebrate Diwali without crackers and it would be all the better a Diwali for it.