Combating Air Pollution: A Shared Responsibility - Eastern Mirror
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Editorial

Combating Air Pollution: A Shared Responsibility

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By The Editorial Team Updated: Sep 11, 2023 12:03 am

Improving air quality is not only important to combating the threat of global warming, but is also crucial to preventing the spread of bronchial diseases. Recent studies have found that air pollution is responsible for lower birth weight in babies as there is a strong relationship between birthweight and lung health. It is wrong to assume that air pollution is limited to big cities with large number of motor vehicles relying on fossil fuels, as even smaller towns and villages are now experiencing air pollution. Villagers, small town residents and metropolitan city residents are all in danger of being affected by various respiratory diseases to varying degrees. According to the latest Air Quality Life Index (AQLI) prepared by the Energy Policy Institute of the Chicago University, life expectancy across the world has reduced considerably and among various countries of the world India is in a dire situation as pollution killed nearly 2.3 million Indians in 2019. The country’s average life expectancy has been reduced by five years due to air pollution. The report has further claimed that in the northern plains of the country where 40 per cent of India’s total population lives, average loss of life expectancy stands at eight years and in Delhi the average loss is about 12 years. The said institute has made such observations by studying the amount of particulate matter (PM) present in the air for a decade.

It is evident that the air pollution scenario is grim in India. The government, citizens and all other stakeholders together must endeavour to combat all factors contributing to health hazards in the air. It is a job which neither the government nor any environmental institution can accomplish alone; rather it should take the shape of a mass movement. People should reduce the use of personal cars as much as possible to reduce emissions and use of green energy must be promoted over traditional energy sources. Plantation of trees is another important task to be undertaken to reduce the amount of air pollution. Both long term and short term strategies should be formulated to combat air pollution. Polluted air affects economic growth and development too by increasing expenditure on public health. Air pollution vastly affects every sphere of life and to beat it we must remain vigilant. If we fail in our responsibility to reduce air pollution, each and everyone’s life will be severely impacted. Enough damage on nature and air has been inflicted in the name of development. It is crucial to strike a balance between development and the protection of Earth’s natural environment. A number of important steps have indeed been taken in this regard by various stakeholders, but much more needs to be done. It is a shared responsibility and we must all step up and do our part.

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By The Editorial Team Updated: Sep 11, 2023 12:03:16 am
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