Safeguarding environment from pollution is everyone’s responsibility:

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Safeguarding environment from pollution is everyone’s responsibility:

By Bipin Sharma

Better late than never; the government and the National Green Tribunal (NGT) have finally got the whip cracking on all those polluting the environment much to the big relief of countless of beings like me who find it extremely tough to combat the ill effects of pollution. It doesn’t require someone to be a health expert to enlist the repercussions of air pollution as those who are smitten by it can best describe the state of their own health problems which have aggravated over the passage of time, as a result of the polluted air, or smog as we may term it.

Though I have always taken pride to be a Delhiite, the adverse ramification of being a denizen of the capital city is the humungous “pollution” to which one has to be constantly subjected to. Be it the vehicular pollution, industrial pollution, or the reckless burning of leaves or waste materials in and around residential habitats, there is just no escaping the pollution for those dwelling in the urban belts. Having experienced the ill effects of pollution, I now realize why many chronic patients have literally, not by choice, but out of compulsion, been forced to shift base to tranquil rural belts with abundant lease of fresh air to avoid further damage to their health. At times, the thought has crossed my mind to shift base from the city to a more healthy rural area all for the sake of inhaling fresh, clean air.

Amidst all this, one wonders what will happen if the prime land in the rural belts too get acquired sooner or later, in the name of rural industrialization? Ironically in such a scenario, we would be left with a less fewer options for escaping away from the polluted metro cities. Blame it on the unavoidable pollution in the environment, our general body immunity, or simply the modern day sedentary lifestyle, people like me happen to be the first casualties during the change of season phase, or when there is a sudden rise in the pollution level due to emanation of hazardous and poisonous gases in the atmosphere. I experience colossal problem in breathing I have no qualms in sharing that pollution has played a significant role in adversely impacting my health condition. A lot of people have become immuno-compromised due to the rampant air pollution.

Whether I view it in the present day scenario, or look back in hindsight, I am convinced that it will be sheer imprudent to hold the different governments responsible for the rising pollution levels in the capital city for the fact remains that keeping the pollution under check and control is the collective responsible of all those that inhabit the Mother Earth which unquestionably comprise the citizens, the policy makers, the government, industrialists, entrepreneurs, and so on. In my 40s, while I should ideally be enjoying good health, the paradoxical veracity is that the polluted air has not just decreased my immunity levels, but directly or indirectly, it has also compelled me to undergo periodic chest X-rays. In the last 6 months or so, I have not only got five chest x-rays conducted, but have also got a CECT scan done to rule out malignancy, or any other sort of lung infection. While the repeat X-rays were conducted as part of the clinical correlation process, the CECT scan happened to be a more stringent examination of the chest for giving the radiologist and the chest specialist a crystal clear picture of my chest ailment and infection. It is said that the radiations that one gets exposed to during a one time CECT scan process is equivalent to the collective radiations that we get subjected in a three year time frame. Thus, one can duly gauge the flip side of the CECT scan.

Since I have already been exposed to a high level of radiation in the last six months, I exercise a great deal of caution when dealing with the electronic gadgets and gizmos. At the insignificant phases of a day when I can afford to stay delinked from the world, I keep my cell in a switched off mode. Unlike my better half, who keeps her cell switched on even during the night, I can’t remember a night when I have kept my cell in a switched on mode during the last one year or so. When I started falling ill on a regular basis last year from the month  January 2014 onwards, I took it casually, as a dose of antibiotics prescribed by the physician was adequate to nurse me back to shape.

However in the month of October 2014 after a hiatus of about ten months, I fell awfully sick so much so, that to even make it to the washroom, I had to seek the help of either my mother or wife. Much to my family’s dismay, even the usual dose of antibiotics were inept in curing me back this time which is when the physician advised to undergo a chest x-ray. I cannot forget the horrific expression on the radiologists face when he was glancing at my X-ray.

I heaved a big sigh of relief when I was informed that the big shadow seen on the X ray film was not malignant, but some sort of a severe lung infection which had a good probability of getting cured with a dedicated dosage of antibiotics. I was also explained that pnuemonitis could be due to some bronchial obstruction, and could be either obstructive pneumonitis, or post obstructive pneumonitis. After 25 days of antibiotic treatment, there was a marked change in my health condition not just symptomatically, but was also corroborated through the repeat X-ray. After a month’s gap, another X-ray was conducted. For the first two months of 2015, my health condition remained stable.

However with the change in weather condition during the month of March, I had a severe nasal congestion, which in turn caused a great deal of breathing problem for me. The physician could attribute breathing problem to anything ranging from acute sinusitis to chronic sinusitis, allergies, or asthma. These ailments result in nasal congestion, running nose, chest congestion, labored breathing, shallow breathing, cough, or wheezing. Since the nasal passage is the alleyway for viruses and allergens to enter the lungs, the nose and sinuses are often related with myriads of lung disorders. A sinus or nasal passage inflammation can cause asthma attacks, and the driving force for asthma is allergies.

It is always advisable to have a profound knowledge of the ailment that one is suffering with so as to not only take the relevant precautions, but also to avert any future contingency. Blame it on our lethargic attitude, or the absence of a proactive RWA in the neighbourhood, that we as local dwellers, have been mere mute spectators to incidents of reckless burning of leaves and garbage in our near surroundings by habitual violators. These are violators who need to be severely taken to task for not just polluting the air quality, but for jeopardizing the well being of countless citizens.

Due to the gross negligence of such irresponsible people, beings like me have been left to bear the brunt of excruciating polluted air due to which our existent ailment only gets aggravated. As ill luck would have it, it is pertinent for me to walk for a certain time duration on a daily basis to keep my digestive system on track as I happen to be devoid of a gall bladder. Except walking in the parks, I don’t have any option as walking anywhere around the polluted streets, or the markets ends up causing only more harm than any gain to my health. Thus, the hard lessons that I have learnt all throughout coping with my personal ailment is that citizens have to cohesively play an extremely vital role for keeping the pollution under control by planting trees on a regular basis. Added to this, the citizens need to form a mandatory ‘environment club’ in their respective areas of habitat for keeping a check on those polluting the environment, and for informing the hazardous activities of pollution causing illegal factories and industries operating out of residential belts. Citizens across the length and breadth of the country need to undertake a solemn pledge that henceforth they would not shy away from taking responsibilities and initiatives in matters pertaining to environment and global warming. The collective, and persistent sincere efforts is bound to improve the overall air quality, thereby ensuring a healthy lifestyle for one and all. Well blessing in disguise, my personal ailment has reinforced my grit to pledge a lifetime to the cause of reducing air pollution in the environment!!

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