GUWAHATI: Eminent doctors of Assam and other North-Eastern States have come forward to fight against air pollution and to create awareness regarding the rising air pollution and its ill effects.
Many renowned doctors joined hands at the launch event of Doctors for Clean Air at NEDFi House. It was led by Dr. Rashna Das Hazarika, Professor Subhash Khanna and Dr. Anjali Baruah.
State Additional Chief Secretary Rajib Bora was the chief guest on the occasion. Bora said, “I am happy that the purpose of today’s workshops is not only to create awareness but also to come with a roadmap for change. Being in charge of planning for the city, I will look forward to implement the suggestions derived from the discussion today”.
He further said, “Guwahati is a city where we generate about 500 metric tonnes of garbage daily and all of them are dumped in Deepor Beel”. He also asked for a way to dispose garbage in a scientific manner.
Dr. Arvind Kumar, Founder and Managing Trustee, Lung Care Foundation, said, “Doctors for Clean Air is a historic step wherein senior pulmonologists, surgeons, and pediatricians from across the country and 12 leading medical associations of the country representing over 1.5 lakh doctors are committing themselves to work for clean air for 1.3 billion Indians”. He said that it’s a wrong conception that pollution is only a Delhi problem, where 98% of the population of the country breathes air which is inferior to WHO as well as our national air quality. He said, “There’s no non-smoker in India as each one of us is inhaling pm 2.5, which goes into the lung and even by crossing the lung barrier it goes into the blood and through blood it enters into every organ of the body. In terms of its damaging effects 22 microgram of pm 2.5 is equal to one cigarette. In this way our lungs are getting damaged with the level as much as we would have if we actually smoke cigarette daily.”
By presenting a report prepared by AQLI (Air Quality Life Index) Kumar said that people residing in Kamrup Metropolitan are losing a total 2.4 years of life each. Shweta Narayan also said that there is no place in this country which is free from pollution.
Dr Rashna Das Hazarika said, “The more I try to run away from the polluted air, the more it follows me. Fifteen years back, my quest for fresh air got me to shift my base from Delhi to Guwahati, but it remained a distant dream”. It is actually a very crucial matter of concern for the people of Guwahati because according to a report by Pollution Control Board, Assam (PCBA) in 2015, Guwahati has one of the highest black carbon pollution levels in the world.
An interactive session was also held. It was moderated by Dr. Subhash Khanna with panelists including D N Das from Pollution Control Board, Rajib Bora, Additional Chief Secretary to the Government of Assam, Professor Gokhle, Chandan Mahanta, Krishna Gopal Bhattacharya and Dr. Bamin Tada, Medical Secretary CBNEI Guwahati.