An Open Letter From A Dog Suffering In The Delhi-NCR Pollution

I am Tarzan, a 2.5-year-old golden retriever and a victim of NCR’s air pollution.

Recently, one of the hottest topics in India has been NCR’s pollution problem. There are a lot of debates by humans on what has caused it and how to mitigate it, cope with it and also whom to blame. My human family is receiving messages of concern from their friends, relatives and colleagues who are settled in regions with AQI in the green and yellow zone. My human sister said that some of her colleagues are, in fact, refusing to travel to NCR!

Daily newspapers are running articles on how humans can protect their lungs (some of them are paid by the air purifier companies) and social media is abuzz with campaigns.

But, let’s be honest, are humans the only ones who suffer? We too have lungs. Humans are bothered about themselves and their children. What about us? Aren’t we your responsibility too? Have you lost your compassion and humanity in the smog? And the worst part is we are suffering with no fault of our own.

How dare you? How dare you shorten my life span? How dare you to take my right to breathe freely?

I still consider myself lucky as I spend most of the day inside the house with an air purifier. My humans give me turmeric to boost my immunity. But when I go out for my walks, I choke in the foul air. My humans do not let me run so that I do not pant and inhale more of this poisonous air. They make me wear ugly masks. I can’t sniff my favorite flowers in the park. On bad days, they even cut my walks short.

At first I thought I was being punished, but then I saw the concern on my sisters’ faces. What can they do to keep me safe? They even contemplate shifting back to our village in Assam, so that I can have a healthy life.

This makes me think about the less fortunate dogs who live on the street. They are dying slow deaths. It seems like they are being put in this giant gas chamber, that is letting them die in a painful way. Luckily, my play buddy Moti and some others in our locality are being sheltered by generous residents. But, they only get shelter at night.

One of my human sister was telling my human mother that most of the people she talks to cannot even comprehend the fact the animals too are suffering. Some of them even mock her saying that there are so many homeless children and that she should worry about them rather than animals. What they fail to understand, is that life is life. Each one is valuable whether it is human, canine, feline or avian.

I will take this forum to request all of you, including various NGOs and government agencies, please help everyone and not just humans. Our lives matter too.

Follow me, Tarzan, here.

Featured image provided by author.
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