October 31st, 2018

Delhi’s toxic mess

I am currently in a state of deep despair about my adoptive home, India, and more especially about Delhi, where we live.

There are so many things happening right now in this country and in this city, and none of them seems good, to be honest.

Of course there’s lots of amazing stuff happening, of course there is.  But the overall impression that we the common people are left with, is of a government so totally focused on pushing its “Hindu” agenda in the run up to next year’s elections, that nothing else really counts.

As I sit in my Delhi home study, writing this, I have a low-grade headache and my eyes are stinging from the toxic, noxious air that blankets the capital.  Inside my own home, surrounded by plants, with a garden fore and aft, plants on my desk, plants on the shelves, and yet…

My nearest pollution monitoring station is R.K.Puram, and this was the state of play this morning when I got up to go running – and yes I know, I know, I know, running in pollution = foolish?

Possibly it is foolish, but what the HELL are we supposed to do otherwise?

Sit indoors, doors and windows closed, and never step out for months on end?

This deadly pollution has been getting worse every year and Diwali is still a week away, God help us.

What happened to all the much touted measures that were announced/promised a year ago when we were in the same toxic mess?

WHAT HAPPENED?

Vaccum-cleaner-like machines to suck up the dust.  Anyone seen one?

Watering the trees and roads to lay the dust?

Improving public transport to stop us all using our cars?

Oh, I am so so SO fed up of empty promises that are directly endangering our lives.

If the wretched politicians want to promise us all manner of pie-in-the-sky things, go on, do your worst.  Most of us don’t believe politicians anyway.  But do NOT give us empty promises where our health and our lives are concerned.

Not that.

You are seriously endangering all our lives, including your own.

And this very fact is the one thing I don’t get about the seeming political inertia about the toxic pollution.  Because the self same politicians who are doing precious little, also live here and are also affected.  Their children, their families, they themselves – the pollution makes no difference between VIPS and the common folk like me.

I would’ve hoped that venal self interest would work, but apparently not.

Can someone please explain this anomaly to me?

That a politician doesn’t give a stuff about (for example) improving government schools doesn’t surprise me, because his children go to private schools.

That he/she doesn’t bother about the buses being on time doesn’t surprise me one bit, because they travel by car.

But we all breathe the same air.

And it stinks.

And it is killing us.

Realistically, I don’t think I could have any more anti-pollution plants in my house if I tried.  Money plants are good at battling pollution, we’re told, so our house is full of them.  We are bursting at the seams with money plants.  In every room, loads of them.  In the bedrooms, bathrooms, study – we have more money plants than you can shake a stick at.

Ditto Mother-in-Law’s tongue, that is also supposed to be good at cleaning the air.  We have ‘em all over the house.

We have air filters.

As I said, we have a small garden with tall trees in the front of the house, and another garden round the back.  The neighbours on both sides of our house also have small gardens and trees.  In other words, we are as “protected” by greenery as we realistically can be, given where we live.

What. More. Can. We. Do???

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