In our country, newborns become smokers, smoking approximately 10 cigarettes a day from the moment they take their first breath in polluted air,” says Dr Arvind Kumar, a Pulmonologist and Founder of Lung Care Foundation.
Moms all over India are not going to take this lying down anymore, and they have now come together to form a coalition called the Warrior Moms – our 1-point agenda – to ensure clean air for our children to breathe.
A recent global study into air pollution’s burden on health worldwide revealed that around 1.16lakh infants in India were killed due to air pollution within the first month of being born in 2019. More than half of infant’s deaths were due to PM 2.5 in indoor air.
The rise of PM2.5 is clearly linked to an increase in problems with lung health. Lower temperature and rise in pollution will have adverse effects on people with respiratory diseases like Asthma and COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). Symptoms like cough and breathlessness will increase with the start of winter, increasing the risk of many co-morbidities, such as diabetes, heart and lung disease and asthma that make Covid-19 more deadly.
Why is this important?
Smoke from fireworks during Diwali is a huge contributor to air pollution.
According to a 2016 study by Pune’s Chest Research Foundation and Interdisciplinary School of Health Sciences of the University of Pune, inhaling the smoke released by 1 “fuljhadi” or sparkler cracker equals smoking 74 cigarettes.
We do not want our children smoking cigarettes, then why should we allow several boxes of toxic firecrackers to be burst in every neighbourhood?
“In India, air pollution is the #1 risk factor for premature deaths” – State of Global Air/2020.
Anuja is a Warrior Mom, a homemaker and freelance SPED consultant. Mother to 2 teenage kids, she is actively involved in citizen groups for environmental sensitization. She has personally experienced the brunt of health impacts on her child due to air pollution. Warrior Moms is a group of moms from across India who are all concerned about the air we and our children breathe.