In India, there is summer season, monsoon season and then the great pollution season. While this might sound like a joke, it is a bitter reality that is hard to digest. During winters, the pollution levels in our country sky-rocket and with each passing year, the situation is only getting worse. 

According to a survey, India is the second most polluted country in the world and while this should be a matter of great concern for us Indians, we have made peace with living in areas where the annual average particulate pollution level exceeds the WHO guidelines. 

84% of Indians live in areas where the air quality standards are worse than bad. And, according to the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago’s Air Quality Life Index, the average Indian is losing 5.2 years of their lives due to particulate pollution.

Turns out, Lucknow has the highest level of pollution in the country. The pollution levels in this city are 11 times greater than the WHO guideline. So, if you are living in Lucknow there are chances that you could be losing 10.3 years of your life if the pollution continues to persist. 

Residents of metropolitan cities like Delhi and Kolkata can also lose more than 8 years of their lives due to increased pollution levels. Since 1998, the annual pollution level has increased by 42%, taking away 1.8 years off the life of the average resident over those years.

It was found that during the lockdown, there was a drastic fall in pollution levels in 5 mega cities- Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Mumbai. The pollution levels fell by 54%, which meant 630 people were saved from premature deaths.

So, there is still hope. With this, it is time for India to make certain policy changes to counter pollution before it’s too late.