onsdag 24. november 2021

A silent killer is choking India's capital. For millions, there's no choice but to breathe it in

Gulpreet Singh begs for food from a dirty hemp mat spread on the sidewalk outside Delhi's South Campus metro station. Like millions of Indians who survive on handouts or daily wages, the 84-year-old says he has no choice but to be outside, breathing air thick with smog in the Indian capital. "I come here and wait. Sometimes, people give me food," said Singh, his voice straining over the noise of auto rickshaws and cars belching fumes just meters away.

Delhi is often ranked among the world's most polluted cities, and air pollution there reached "hazardous" levels in early November, according to India's National Air Quality Index (AQI), which tracks the presence of harmful particles in the air. But some Delhi residents have become so accustomed to bad air that it's a part of daily life -- they barely notice it, they say. Others say it's making them sick.