China and India are two of the growing forces in Asia, economically, politically as well as socio-culturally. Though both countries have not been the best of friends, relations have been cordial and together they’ve come up as a fairly strong competition to the rest of the world in terms of development. This comraderie seems to have spilled onto occupying the top spot in the list of countries with leading number of deaths due to pollution and fast deteriorating air quality. A feat we are surely not proud of.
Air pollution caused 4.2 millions early deaths worldwide in 2015 and more than half of these are in China and India’s account. According to the State of Global Air 2017 report, air quality in India has deteriorated faster since 2015 than it did in five years before that. The report by a US-based institute has been rejected by the Indian government and it says a million Indians die every year due to air pollution caused health issues. India’s air quality is better than Saudi and Bangladesh, if at all you are looking for some solace, but is fifty percent worse than China. So even though the two nations have won the top-spot in a tie, we might just have surpassed them.
While the Environment Minister Anil Dave has rejected this report, his own ministry had recently announced in a homegrown survey that our air quality is deteriorating and it included a list of 94 cities with very poor air quality. Even though air quality has gone down worldwide, India, China, Pakistan and Bangladesh have the worst air pollution concentration.
Reports claim that in India factors causing air pollution include human-induced factors like smoke from burning of farm residues, vehicles and power plants. So, basically each of these are factors that we can control. India’s air quality has deteriorated steadily and every one of us citizens is to be blamed for that. If the air we breathe in is out to kill us, it’s high time we do what we need to in order to ensure a better life for ourselves.