Running about and playing in the rain used to be one of the great pleasures of children in India till a decade ago. Today in some parts of India it may not any longer be safe to play in the rain. There are a lot of dangerous gases in the air. When rain drops fall through the air they absorb these gases and the rainwater becomes acidic. If it falls on your skin it could cause a light burning sensation. After such rains trees shed their leaves and may even die. Such showers are called acid rains.
The Taj Mahal stood beautiful and unchanged for over 250 years. In the last 30 years, however, the marble is getting harmed and its color has begun to change.
Few reports from newspapers:
https://www.scienceabc.com › Eye Openers
https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com › … › Pollution turning Taj Mahal yellow: Study
In our culture we have always considered rivers as sacred. We bathed in them regularly. On special occasions taking a dip in them was a symbol of making our soul clean from our sins. Today it is dangerous to splash into these rivers. There is too much sewage from city homes and waste from factories flowing into these rivers. In March 2005, 1200 tons of untreated sewage was being dumped daily into the Yamuna. Many varieties of fish are becoming extinct day by day.
Mineral water was unknown to India and was available only through five star hotels about twenty years ago. We never needed to look for any specially treated or cleaned water. It was safe to drink water almost anywhere. Today even water from wells is often not safe to drink due to contamination.
More and more cases of people falling ill with bronchitis, asthma and other breathing problems are cropping up every year because the air is so full of smoke, dust and dangerous gases. In December 2004, doctors in Delhi declared that 15-20% of children show symptoms of asthma as against 5-10% of early times. In September 2004, Calcutta Police inaugurated its first oxygen concentration plant at Alipore to give the traffic police a breath of cleaner air from time to time.
People are beginning to suffer from noise pollution. Hearing high levels of noise constantly results in health problems such as high blood pressure. Sudden explosions as of crackers and fireworks, can lead to partial or even complete deafness. Some people suffer from a constant ringing sound in their ears. Noise pollution is known to harm children even before they are born.
People living in some areas of big cities may even suffer from light pollution. There is too much light in the night and they cannot sleep properly. In September 2004 scientists at the First International Scientific Conference on Child Leukemia linked increased night light to certain types of cancer, including child leukemia.
There are three root causes for the greater pollution today than in the past:
- There are more people today; each of us uses more goods than earlier and we produce more waste than humankind has ever encountered since Stone Age.
- There are many more people in our country than it has been earlier, population is rising drastically. We are the second most populous nation in the world and it is estimated that soon we will leave China behind in terms of population.
- Most people are richer today than they were earlier. People with more money try to own more things, particularly for show off. Each person living today uses more goods than a person would use some years ago. We do not use some things completely. We do not use them as long as they were being used earlier. We throw a lot of things away now, in the past, those could have been used for much more time. Rich people in cities produce more waste and it is dumped in rural areas because cities lack spacing to dump.
In modern world we are facing new challenges such as landfills. These are huge mountains of rubbish collected from towns and cities and thrown into low areas in their neighborhood. This waste contains many dangerous things such as non-degradable plastics, chemicals from old batteries, parts of machines (rusted metal), spoilt drugs and outdated medicines, etc. These are all mixed together and gradually they release poisonous substances into the air, water and soil.
Many cows in our cities die after eating a lot of plastic bags and human hair. They are unable to digest these items. Their arteries gets blocked due to these substances.
In December 2004, veterinary doctors at Delhi claimed that pollution was causing behavioural disorders and respiratory problems even in pet animals, particularly dogs and birds. One vet treated 20 dogs the day after Diwali.
Some reports about Delhi’s pollution:
https://economictimes.indiatimes.com › News › Politics and Nation
Many of modern day things didn’t even existed few decades back and as such modern day problems were not present back then. These new machines and articles may be very useful for us but they harm us in two ways.
1. Production of these things causes pollution.
2. Many of these things cannot be recycled.
Their chemical composite is such that we cannot break them and form new articles out of it. They do not decompose. Some things when burned up or buried in turn produces toxic gases, which then again causes environmental degradation. In October 2004, the World Wide Fund for nature estimated that 10% of all mental illnesses are caused by exposure to poisonous chemicals.
The Government and many other groups are trying to reduce pollution. They ask producers and owners of cars and other vehicles to make sure they do not pollute the air too much. They make laws to prevent drivers from blowing the horn unnecessarily. They ask people not to burst crackers, or play loud music late into the night. They ask factory owners not to throw their waste into the rivers or release poisonous gases into the air. In some places like Goa and Delhi littering on the roads is forbidden. Since 2005, Mumbai imposes a fine of Rs 1000 on anyone using plastic bags.
Same provision was also declared in Rajasthan but due to poor implementation, but it failed miserably:
A lot of pollution does not depend only on the functioning of the government or large factories. It depends on the behaviour of ordinary people.
• There is the case of plastic bags. They cause the death of so many cattle. They clog their drains. They do not decompose. They poison the air, when burnt. While going to shop we could take our cloth bags along-with or ask for paper bags rather than polythene ones.
• Crackers and fireworks poison the air and cause great noise pollution. Say no to crackers at Diwali and other festivals. School students in Delhi conduct campaigns to reduce the use of crackers at Diwali in the city.
• We could say ‘No’ to loud music at jagrans and festivals.
• Avoid unnecessary honking while driving.
• Continue using your articles instead of buying whenever a new model comes around.
• We can still buy products which have signs of recycle, reuse, etc., it includes bottles, paper, old clothes, etc.
• We could compost most of our garbage instead of dumping it at public places.
• Avoid throwing littering – paper, plastic cups and bags, or anything at all, on roads, in parks, into drains or other public places.
• Avoiding cutting of trees in our compound, breaking branches of trees, or damaging the bark of trees in parks or on sideways of the roads.
• Plant more trees, or at least take better care of the already existing trees.
• Travel more often by trains, buses and other means of public transport rather than using personal vehicle.