Teen describes what it’s like to live with the smog in New Delhi, India
Burning crops and firecrackers are partly to blame
Kids in New Delhi, India, are being told to stay inside for their own safety this week.
Air pollution in the city has reached dangerous levels.
It’s so bad, schools were closed and cars are being ordered off the roads.
This picture, taken from an apartment building in New Delhi, shows the smog worsening over a six-day period. (Submitted by Dakshita Shandilya)
The smog settles in every year around this time, and it’s caused by several factors:
- Farmers nearby who are burning their crops to clear the land before they plant for the next season.
- Fireworks that have been set off to celebrate Diwali, the festival of light.
- With a population of 20 million, New Delhi is already one of the most polluted cities in the world.
On Wednesday, CBC Kids News spoke to 16-year-old Dakshita Shandilya via a messaging app.
She lives in New Delhi.
Dakshita Shandilya worries the situation is inevitable because farming is an important driver of the economy and traditional festivals are taken very seriously in India. (Submitted by Dakshita Shandilya)
Authorities have been handing out free masks to children in New Delhi. (Anushree Fadnavis/Reuters)
The government has declared a public health emergency and has taken a few measures to improve air quality:
- They are keeping private vehicles off the roads.
- Firefighters are sprinkling water from high-rise buildings to settle the dust.
- Builders must cover construction sites to keep dust from flying around.
Doctors in New Delhi are warning that this could have serious impacts on people’s health, if it continues.
“It definitely would affect the growth aspects of children,” said Dr. Sai Kiran Chaudhari, a doctor who works in New Delhi. “They would be prone to recurrent infections. The immune system would be affected.”
Demonstrators wearing face masks are demanding the government take measures to curb air pollution in New Delhi. (Sajjad Hussain/AFP via Getty Images)
With files from CBC Radio and The Associated Press