Declarations of climate emergency had reached a crescendo, when the pandemic brought us all to a standstill. In the abrupt quiet, we heard the birdsong, and signs that a lesser human footprint could help the environment regenerate itself. But it can't be at the improbable cost of shutting down an intricate machinery of economies and human endeavour. On occasion of the World Environment Day, what then do we hope for this living planet to be?
Women pray on Chhath Puja in the polluted waters of Yamuna river in New Delhi, India. November 03, 2019
Air pollution was the theme of World Environment Day last year. India is fighting alarming air pollution levels that claims thousands of lives annually. UP, Maharashtra, Bihar, Bengal and Rajasthan accounted for over 50% of all pollution-related deaths in India. In addition, UP, Haryana, Andhra and Gujarat alone have 84% of grossly polluting industries, discharging hazardous chemicals and over 100 kilolitres of wastewater every day