As Streets Turn Toxic, Homeless Children Have No Where To Go But Breathe Pollution
Image Credits: PIB India

As Streets Turn Toxic, Homeless Children Have No Where To Go But Breathe Pollution

Children do the least to pollute the environment yet they are the most vulnerable to pollution. Because of increasing concerns about air pollution in the capital city, the schools are shut and children are asked to stay indoors.

These instructions sound very elite and conveniently ignore the homeless and poor children who stay on the streets and fend for themselves.

The Logical Indian reached out to the street kids in Delhi who are continuously exposed to the contaminated air, to gauge its impact in their lives.

(Rajesh, Som Bazar)

Ten- year- old Rajesh who lives in a shed near Som Bazar in Delhi complains of chest pain to us, he blames the polluted air.

“We live in an untidy place, it is called Som Bazar. No one helps us to clean the place and my entire family stays there. My father sells balloons on the streets and we all come to do the same. It is getting very difficult to even breathe and I cough a lot when I am on the streets.”

He said that because people mindlessly burst crackers during Diwali, poor people like him have to bear the brunt.

Delhi Street Children Air Pollution

(Sabir and Azeez, Kanhai)

Sabir (9) and Azeez (10) from Kanhai in Gurgaon said that they are not going to school and they do not even play outside these days.

“Our mother brought us air masks recently and whenever we go out on the streets, she asks us to wear them.” When they were asked if they were aware of the air pollution, they said that it is because of too many vehicles that there is so much smoke and it will get down soon.

Delhi Street Children Air Pollution

(Sumit, Gurgaon)

Sumit is 8-year-old and loves going to school. He likes learning new poems and speeches. He started to recite a monologue on air pollution as soon as asked.

“I’ve been to school only once after Diwali and this was the only thing I learned since then. I used to recite poems and make speeches on different topics, but since this air pollution has started, I did not get to learn anything and I am only repeating one speech all the time.” Sumit laments.

Delhi Streets Air Pollution

(Rhea, Gurgaon)

Rhea has been continuously sick due to air pollution. The 7-year-old from Gurgaon said that it has been more than a week that she has had a sore throat.

”I cannot see the birds in the morning and can barely see the sky clear. Whenever I am on the streets, I find people wearing masks and leaving for their homes hurriedly,” Rhea innocently remarks.

Children Are Worst Affected

According to the study conducted by UNICEF in 2016, it was found that Air Pollution is linked with diseases that kill around 6,00,000 children under the age of 5 every year. Poor children are at a greater risk of air pollution and children born in this age will have to bear climate change their entire lifetime. Since the lungs of the children are still in the developing stage and they breathe air twice as fast as compared to the adults, their lungs are more permeable to take in impure air. Lack of help with healthcare also makes poor children vulnerable to air pollution. 300 million children live in regions where outdoor air is toxic, which is six times more than the international limits.

Do these kids really deserve to bear the consequences of the mess that we have created senselessly? It’s a do or die to clean our environment. Literally.

Also Read: Know How Was The Air Quality In Delhi, Mumbai & Kolkata Post Diwali Eve

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Editor : Vasudha Kaukuntla Kaukuntla

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