… my experiences in India

“All I need is the air that I breathe…”

The Hollies had a point with this lyric… breathing brings life.

In urban India breathing brings an early death.

Good air quality is not a priority in a country where the infant mortality rate is 68 (UK is 7). However, I think pollution is a causal factor in the poor health of pregnant women and children.

As India experiences rapid development in the software industries, the roads simply can not cope. More Indians are now able to afford to run a car and/or motorbike, but this demand on the roads means congestion of the roads and of our lungs. I hate having to breath in the toxic fumes when I cycle to and from the local shops, it is disgusting.

According to the Centre for Science and Environment someone dies every hour due to air pollution. Breathing toxic fumes causes asthma, irritation to the eyes, lungs and throat and can contribute to development of cancer. No wonder I got ill after my trip to Bangalore at the weekend where the roads are on another level that I have not seen before.

What’s it like for the people that have to live and work on the roads day-in, day-out?

Auto-drivers, road-side stalls, beggars, traffic police are exposed to these toxins for prolonged periods. I believe these people will have shorter lives and more painful deaths than those that don’t have to work under these conditions. Do they realise the risks?

In UK, the answer has been to try and draw people out of their cars and onto public transport, but this isn’t possible in India when the buses are battered, overflowing and some of the biggest polluters themselves.

The one saving grace has been the train line in/out of Chennai. This public transport investment is brilliant. It is electric, off road, over ground (above the smog) and not overcrowded on the whole.

My loathing for petrol burning vehicles has reached an all time high.

Anyone know where I can buy a decent face mask?


2 Responses to ““All I need is the air that I breathe…””

  1. Getting water to drink, and air to breath are getting more and more difficult with the march of ‘Development’. You have put the finger spot on the problem. You must have visited Bangalore 15 Years back before the Software boom. You will cry!

    Nice and relevant pic!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: