Nearly 70 per cent of the respondents or their family members are already facing difficulties due to poor air quality in Delhi and surrounding areas, says a survey.
The Air Quality Index (AQI) in most parts of Delhi and NCR has turned “severe” with incidents of stubble burning in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh serving as a key driver for pollution. Other contributors include vehicular pollution, pollution due to crackers during Diwali, etc.
To understand how residents are feeling the impact of toxic air and the measures being taken, online community platform LocalCircles conducted a survey that received over 26, 000 responses from residents of Delhi, Noida, Ghaziabad, Gurugram & Faridabad. Of the �respondents, 65 per cent were men while 35 per cent were women.
The first question in the survey attempted to understand the impact of toxic air on the people and it asked the respondents, “Who all in your family are impacted by bad air quality in the Delhi-NCR”.
Nearly 70 per cent of respondents have one or more family members or they themselves are feeling the impact. Out of 9, 123 respondents to this question, 30 per cent indicated “elderly parents/ grandparents at home” were already impacted, in 10 per cent families school going children are feeling unwell; 20 per cent are themselves impacted due to their health conditions; there are another 10 per cent were not well though they have no pre-existing medical conditions.
Only 30 per cent of the respondents indicated that they and their family are facing no health issues due to poor air quality in Delhi-NCR.
To a question on plans to cope up with the deteriorating air quality in the next three weeks, 9 per cent indicated they will use anti-pollution masks; 21 per cent would use air purifiers at home, while 14 per cent plan to increase consumption of immunity boosting foods.
The survey data shows that 42 per cent of respondents are planning to increase consumption of immunity boosting foods; 37 per cent are relying on anti-pollution masks to safeguard their health; while 35 per cent are banking on air purifiers at home to keep out ill effects of air pollution.
At the end of the day, these safety measures can only provide limited protection to the over 32 million population of Delhi-NCR.
Many families who have senior citizens or young children try to get away from Delhi-NCR to escape the toxic air. As many as 27 per cent respondents indicated that they plan to get away from Delhi-NCR.