health crisis

1.2 million deaths in India annually because of air pollution: Greenpeace 'Airpocalypse' report

New Delhi topped the list of 20 most polluted cities in the country.

Nearly 1.2 million deaths in India every year are because of air pollution, according to a Greenpeace India report titled “Airpocalypse” published on Wednesday. New Delhi tops the list of 20 most polluted cities in the country, followed by Ghaziabad, Allahabad and Bareli. The particulate matter levels in Delhi was highest, with 268 g/m3 for the year 2015 – this is 4.5 times higher than the National Ambient Air Quality Standard annual limit set by the Central Pollution Control Board.

The report is based on the data gathered from Right to Information applications from State Pollution Control Boards across India, their annual reports and their websites. It also assessed the air quality of 168 cities across 24 states and Union Territories.

“Deaths due to air pollution are only a fraction less than the number of death caused by tobacco usage,” the report read. It also said a total of 3% Gross Domestic Product of the country is lost because of air pollution. “If the country’s development is important, fighting air pollution has to be a priority,” it added said.

Though pollution in North India has garnered a lot of attention, air quality standards in the south are also poor. Only a few cities in southern India comply with air quality standards prescribed by the CPCB. ”Air pollution is no more just the problem of Northern India and Delhi. Bengaluru and many other urban centres in southern India are breathing hazardous levels of pollutants in the air,” Greenpeace campaigner Sunil Dahiya told The News Minute.

Greenpeace called for a system to monitor air quality across the country and making such data publicly available. It further said the data can be used as a basis to fine-tune pollution reduction strategies. “Our choices in terms of electricity, transportation and waste management can play a major role in managing pollution levels, as are our choices in terms of political leaders who support the goal of reducing air pollution,” the report added.

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Following a mountaineer as he reaches the summit of Mount Everest

Accounts from Vikas Dimri’s second attempt reveal the immense fortitude and strength needed to summit the Everest.

Vikas Dimri made a huge attempt last year to climb the Mount Everest. Fate had other plans. Thwarted by unfavourable weather at the last minute, he came so close and yet not close enough to say he was at the top. But that did not deter him. Vikas is back on the Everest trail now, and this time he’s sharing his experiences at every leg of the journey.

The Everest journey began from the Lukla airport, known for its dicey landing conditions. It reminded him of the failed expedition, but he still moved on to Namche Bazaar - the staging point for Everest expeditions - with a positive mind. Vikas let the wisdom of the mountains guide him as he battled doubt and memories of the previous expedition. In his words, the Everest taught him that, “To conquer our personal Everest, we need to drop all our unnecessary baggage, be it physical or mental or even emotional”.

Vikas used a ‘descent for ascent’ approach to acclimatise. In this approach, mountaineers gain altitude during the day, but descend to catch some sleep. Acclimatising to such high altitudes is crucial as the lack of adequate oxygen can cause dizziness, nausea, headache and even muscle death. As Vikas prepared to scale the riskiest part of the climb - the unstable and continuously melting Khumbhu ice fall - he pondered over his journey so far.

His brother’s diagnosis of a heart condition in his youth was a wakeup call for the rather sedentary Vikas, and that is when he started focusing on his health more. For the first time in his life, he began to appreciate the power of nutrition and experimented with different diets and supplements for their health benefits. His quest for better health also motivated him to take up hiking, marathon running, squash and, eventually, a summit of the Everest.

Back in the Himalayas, after a string of sleepless nights, Vikas and his team ascended to Camp 2 (6,500m) as planned, and then descended to Base Camp for the basic luxuries - hot shower, hot lunch and essential supplements. Back up at Camp 2, the weather played spoiler again as a jet stream - a fast-flowing, narrow air current - moved right over the mountain. Wisdom from the mountains helped Vikas maintain perspective as they were required to descend 15km to Pheriche Valley. He accepted that “strength lies not merely in chasing the big dream, but also in...accepting that things could go wrong.”

At Camp 4 (8,000m), famously known as the death zone, Vikas caught a clear glimpse of the summit – his dream standing rather tall in front of him.

It was the 18th of May 2018 and Vikas finally reached the top. The top of his Everest…the top of Mount Everest!

Watch the video below to see actual moments from Vikas’ climb.

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Vikas credits his strength to dedication, exercise and a healthy diet. He credits dietary supplements for helping him sustain himself in the inhuman conditions on Mount Everest. On heights like these where the oxygen supply drops to 1/3rd the levels on the ground, the body requires 3 times the regular blood volume to pump the requisite amount of oxygen. He, thus, doesn’t embark on an expedition without double checking his supplements and uses Livogen as an aid to maintain adequate amounts of iron in his blood.

Livogen is proud to have supported Vikas Dimri on his ambitious quest and salutes his spirit. To read more about the benefits of iron, see here. To read Vikas Dimri’s account of his expedition, click here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Livogen and not by the Scroll editorial team.