After the first few days of 21 days lockdown in India, the air started to get better. With almost the entire population locked in their houses, no vehicles to move on the roads, major industries closed down – there was a major change in the pollution level in the country. I am living in Gurgaon, one of the most polluted cities in the country (Delhi is even worse). During Diwali (Nov. 2019) the air was quite dangerous to breathe. I remember I started using air-purifier and even bought a lot of flower pots for the indoor air to be clean. It was not much of a relief. The air outdoors was filled with smoke and dirt. The air around was hazy and there was a low visibility than usual, seemed like it were cloudy outside for many days. I had developed a severe allergy because of the bad quality of air. Here is a brief of the Diwali 2019 situation.
Now, the most surprising part was people not realising it. The government did its job by asking people to use less vehicle and more of public transport but that did not help much. People would still use their private vehicles, the industries would still run and it took nearly a month or so for the air to be become breathable – which was still in a bad category on AQI index. The problem is no one cares much about the air they breathe. They do not even think it is affecting their lives. I mean, they will complain now and then but no one does his/her bit. I am even careless many a times. I do not shut down my car’s engine on the red light very often. Caring the environment is not in our character. We are knowingly/unknowingly destroying it minute by minute and we do not even think about it.
Come to think of the current situation. We are under lockdown and it just took 4 days for the AQI index of Gurgaon to drop to as low as 25, which I do not think is ever possible in normal scenario given our attitudes. My question is – should not we try for it? Even if we keep it under 100 on a regular basis, imagine the impact it is going to have. Imagine the younger generation breathing a fresher air and growing healthier. Have we ever thought about it? Now that the governments across the world have taken drastic measures to fight Coronavirus situation, we should and we must try some extreme measures for keeping the environment clean. Why not regular lockdowns, something like every fortnight. After all it is for everyone’s benefit. The main question is – do we really care?
The lockdown started on 25th March. Here are couple of screenshots showing the pollution level in city on 27th March and 29th March.