Accountability for deaths


Dear editor,
It is a matter of concern that in one year more than sixteen lakh people died due to air pollution in India. According to the latest report of the world’s famous health magazine Lancet, seventy-five percent of the nine million deaths due to pollution in the year 2019 were due to air pollution. Also 13 lakh people died due to drinking polluted water. Pollution, which accounts for every sixth death in the world, suggests that we have to rethink the anomalies of modern development models. There should be a serious initiative to curb the industrial and chemical pollution which is taking millions of lives today. Undoubtedly, this problem is not only of India or developing countries, developed countries are also facing this crisis. But affluent countries are able to take measures to avoid this crisis. In fact, the prosperity of developed countries has come only through the unethical exploitation of the resources of the rest of the world and the industrial revolution that took place without concern for the environment. When the developing and poor countries decided to expand industries to feed their huge population, the western countries started chanting the slogan of environmental crisis.
At the same time, to address global environmental concerns, the help promised by developing countries in return for the steps to be taken by poor countries to control greenhouse gases, was not fulfilled. This is the reason that from the Tokyo Agreement, the Paris Agreement to the Glasgow Declarations, could not be implemented. Whereas the reality is that the poor and developing countries of the world are paying the price for the imperialism and profiteering of western countries.
In fact, the race to earn profits to the extent of human greed had started dissolving the poison of pollution in the environment from the twentieth century itself.
Later this development started taking human towards destruction. Today the temperature of the world has reached such a level that human beings are groaning due to the havoc of nature in the form of global warming. In fact, the greed to earn profits by keeping environmental standards at bay has pushed millions of innocent people to death through pollution.
It is also not that only factories and factories have created pollution, the increasing competition of vehicles has also become a big factor in this. Due to prosperity, those who keep three to four cars in a house also have a role in this. Vehicular pollution has also become a challenge for human life. There are governments that do not seem to be making serious efforts to improve the quality of public transport. The crisis of pollution is posing a big challenge to humanity and the country and the governments are embroiled in unnecessary issues. The smoke of toxic gunpowder arising from other wars of the world including the Russo-Ukraine war is also increasing this crisis, due to which the toxic gases and chemicals continue to dissolve in the atmosphere. This crisis is even bigger for those people who are working in these industries. Millions of people die of untimely death just by coming in contact with toxic chemicals. Governments will have to think about alternatives to thermal power plants emitting toxic smoke by giving preference to the use of clean energy.
Before this crisis deepens, there should be a meaningful initiative at the level of the government and citizens to stop it. Instead of organizing a conference of rich countries every year on environmental protection, the option of helping poor countries will have to be looked at. The problem of poor countries is that their priority is to feed their people before pollution. Nevertheless, all countries have to find environmentally friendly sources of employment.
Vijay Garg.