New Delhi, Smog and the Urgent Need to Wake Up

November 10, 2017

New Delhi, Smog and the Urgent Need to Wake Up

The whole country (if not the whole world) is currently aware of the situation in New Delhi, India’s capital city. Having visited the city this week, the harsh reality really hit me in the face and it is frightening, to say the least. I’ve been coming here ever since I was a kid, at least once a year, because I have family in Delhi. This time, on the drive from the airport, I could see this place that once used to be lush and green, now full of trees that are brown with dust.

The toxic smog, thickening by the hour, has put the city in an emergency situation. Schools and colleges are shut, construction work has been stopped and the odd-even car rule is going to be back into effect from November 13-17. Sneezing and coughing through the night is becoming part of the day-to-day life here.
As you sit in this city, looking at the air around you, it’s hard not to be reminded of the opening scene of Interstellar, and wondering if that’s where our beautiful planet is headed. In fact, a young boy who I travelled with said, as we were landing, “This looks like a post-apocalyptic wasteland." How much have we truly ruined this world and how far are we from a point of no return? And more importantly, what now? How do we start taking steps towards righting the wrongs we have been doing for centuries? 

It starts to become glaringly obvious that this has got to be an effort from each and every one of us. Carpooling, waste reduction, reducing carbon footprint, conserving water and electricity - these are all things that we all talk about a lot. How many of us actually take it as seriously as it needs to be taken? I'm guilty too.. We all are. It’s going to take a while, that’s for sure. But it starts today. There isn’t too much time left. Let’s all pledge to do our part - our planet deserves that much love from us. 

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